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Computer Science Special Colloquium
Start Date: 6/27/2013Start Time: 3:30 PM
End Date: 6/27/2013End Time: 4:30 PM
Event Description:

Special Colloquium

"Insect-Inspired Collective Robotics"

Dr. Justin Werfel
Harvard University

ECCR 245*
Thursday, June 27
3:30-4:30 PM

ABSTRACT: Social insects have achieved tremendous ecological success and dominate many ecosystems worldwide; their colonies flexibly carry out large-scale collective tasks through the decentralized actions of many independent agents. Their example motivates the field of swarm robotics, which seeks to achieve similar advantages of parallelism, adaptability, and robustness through distributed systems of autonomous robots with no central control. In this talk, I will give an overview of three ongoing research projects in collective robotics at Harvard inspired by social insects. The goal of the RoboBees project is to develop swarms of micro aerial vehicles capable of accomplishing tasks such as commercial pollination. In the TERMES project, inspired by mound-building termites, climbing robots build user-specified structures working from a high-level description as input. The Kilobots are a low-cost, scalable-operation hardware platform designed to make large-scale physical experiments with hundreds or thousands of robots feasible. All three projects involve significant challenges ranging from hardware to control issues; I will describe current progress and future directions.

BIO: Justin Werfel is a research scientist at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. His research interests are in the understanding and design of complex systems, and include topics in swarm robotics, DNA self-assembly, and evolutionary theory. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from MIT in 2006, followed by postdoctoral work at Harvard and the New England Complex Systems Institute.

*Please note that this colloquium is at the usual time but in a different room.

Hosted by Nikolaus Correll.

Free and open to all.

Location Information:
Main Campus - Engineering Classroom Wing  (View Map)
1111 Engineering DR
Boulder, CO
Room: 245
Contact Information:
Name: Evan Chang
Phone: 303-492-8894
Email: evan.chang@colorado.edu
Photo of Dr. Justin Werfel smiling
Attachments For This Event:
    > pdf of Justin Werfel colloquium flyer
This event is open to
  • Everyone
  • Of note:
    Free and open to all.

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