Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

GT Courtesy Listing


Biologically Inspired Sensors


Chang Liu


Northwestern University


Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 3:00:00 PM


Whittaker Building, Room 1103


Minami Yoda


Today’s engineering systems, such as machines, vehicles, robots, medical devices, home appliances and entertainment devices, are often sensor deficient. They may often have high power and/or high speed, but do not exhibit autonomous behavior, agility, and maneuverability. Biological systems, on the other hand, exhibit great sensory intelligence. Evolved over millions of years, biological systems offer many exquisite examples of sensing and intelligence. They often offer vastly superior dynamic range, frequency response, adaptability, and low power. Further, animal sensory intelligence functions well in complex and noisy environments, allowing them to survive in unstructured conditions. The work at the MedX Lab is aimed at bridging the gap between biology and system engineering. I will illustrate a few examples of sensors inspired by nature, including biomimetic artificial haircells, artificial lateral line for underwater flow sensing, and multimodal tactile sensing skin. These devices can be used to sense vibration, touch, flow, pressure, heat, and contact. I will also discuss our work in the area of polymer MEMS to enable robust sensors with simple sensor packaging and sensor-electronics integration.


A biography was not submitted with this seminar