Benjamin McInroe

Ph.D. Candidate, Biophysics, UC Berkeley
B.S., Physics, Georgia Tech, 2015


I am a Ph.D. student in the Biophysics Graduate Group at UC Berkeley. My research integrates physics, biology, and robotics to reveal the principles of how animals and robots accomplish tasks in a complex, dynamic world. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how animals leverage morphology and control to accomplish dexterous tasks like self-reorientation and substrate manipulation. Further, as the animal is forced to adapt to new environments and tasks, how are new behaviors innovated, and when does existing morphology become insufficient? I address these questions through exploration of two model systems: rapid burrowing behavior in E. analoga mole crabs, and terrestrial self-righting in Hemidactylus geckos. To derive general mechanisms from these behaviors, I borrow quantitative tools from experimental physics, control theory, robotics, and machine learning. Insight from this work provides not only fundamental biological principles, but also synthetic control and design principles that allow robots to accomplish new tasks in diverse environments.

I am supported by a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

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