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Instructors

Teaching Assistants

  • Karena Cai (CDS)
  • Andrey Shur (BE)
  • Lab session: Tue, 1-4, 308 Keck Lab
  • Open lab hours: Wed, 2-5 pm and Fri, 2-5 pm

Course Description

Students will formulate and implement an engineering project desired to explore a biological principle or property that is exhibited in nature. Students will work in small teams in which they build a hardware platform that is motivated by a biological example in which a given approach or architecture is used to implement a given behavior. Alternatively, the team will construct new experimental instruments in order to test for the presence of an engineering principle in a biological system. Example topics include bio-inspired control of motion (from bacteria to insects), processing of sensory information (molecules to neurons), and robustness/fault-tolerance. Each project will involve proposing a specific mechanism to be explored, designing an engineering system that can be used to demonstrate and evaluate the mechanism, and building a computer-controlled, electro-mechanical system in the lab that implements or characterizes the proposed mechanism, behavior or architecture.

Lecture schedule

WDatesTopicLecturerComments


1

1 Apr
2 Apr
3 Apr

Lecture 1: Intro course lecture
Lab 1: intro to flies and robots (slides)
Lecture 2: ROS

Michael
TAs
Karena


MHD, RMM partial
MHD, RMM out


2

8 Apr
9 Apr
10 Apr 

Lecture 3: rapid manufacturing
Lab 2: rapid prototyping, CAD
Lecture 4: control systems

Andrey
TAs
Richard 
MHD out
MHD out
MHD out

3
15 Apr
16 Apr
17 Apr 

Lecture 5: machine vision
Lab 3: tracking flies
Lecture 5: animal vision

Richard
TAs
Michael 


4
22 Apr
23 Apr
24 Apr 

Lecture 7: feedback control design
Lab 4: Braitenberg bugs
Lecture 8: sensory-motor reflexes

Richard
TAs
Michael


5

29 Apr
30 Apr
1 May 

Project ideas 1
Lab 5: Braitenberg with feedback
Project ideas 2

Richard and Michael 
TAs
Richard and Michael 



6
6 May
7 May
8 May 

Lecture 9: decision-making systems
Projects start (in lab) 
No lecture

Richard



MHD out
RMM, MHD out


7
13 May
14 May
15 May 
Lecture 10: biological sensor processing
Project time
Optional class
Michael

Michael/Richard




8
20 May
21 May
22 May 
Optional class
Project time
Optional class
Richard or Michael

Michael or Richard




9

27 May
28 May
29 May 

No class
Project time
Project time 

Memorial Day
RMM/MHD busy
107 JunProject presentation, 1:30-3 pm

Grading 

The final grade will be based on homework and a ?nal exam:

  • Lab reports (30%) – There will be 6 one-week labs, with a lab writeup (wiki page, with data) due no later than Tuesday at 10:30 am (start of class). Late writeups will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructors.
  • Final project (50%) – The last three weeks of the course will be used to implement a project the demonstrates the principles and tools that are covered in the course. Students will work in groups of 2-3, with a single grade assigned to the group.
  • Class/lab participation (20%) – Students will be assigned by the lecturers and TAs based on their participation in class discussions and lab sessions.

Collaboration Policy 

Collaboration on lab work is encouraged. All lab writeups that are handed should re?ect your understanding of the lab work and results at the time of writing.

Final projects are collaborative.

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