Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Science Club Seminars - 21 October 2014

Science Club Events - Michaelmas 2014
21 October 2014 - 1pm - Zoology Museum (W129)

(note change of day)

Biological fluid dynamics, sensing and control: Swimming fish, flying birds and insects

Dr. Shane Windsor

Bio-inspiration - that's a hot thing for engineering and technology development, did you know that? It is a rather recent discipline, unifying environmental/biological sciences and physical sciences, which aims to use principles inspired or discovered from nature to develop new engineering solutions. Our speaker of this week, Dr. Shane Windsor from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol, is a lecturer in aerodynamics and aeroelasticity, interested in understanding how biological systems interact with environmental fluid flows and how new understanding from this 'bio-inspiration' can be used to develop novel engineering solutions, especially for small scale unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

I will present a quick tour of a number of different biological systems looking at the fluid dynamics of these systems as well as aspects of sensing and control. Along the way I hope to answer:

- How do blind fish avoid obstacles?
- How do insects stabilize their flight? 
- What can we learn from birds about how to build better unmanned air vehicles?

In answering these questions I hope to illustrate aspects of sensing and control involved with biological fluid dynamics, and show how these could be used as inspiration for the development of technologies for autonomous systems.

Hope to see many of you!

Virtual reality insect flight simulator

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