Neuromechanics of Legged Locomotion on Energy Landscapes of Complex Terrains
This research aims to advance our understanding of how animals move in complex natural terrains, by developing new theories of evolving locomotion energy landscapes to understand and predict how locomotor transitions emerge from the coupled interactions of biomechanics, sensorimotor control, and terrain physics. To do so, we will use an integrative approach at the interface of biology, engineering, and physics, and create new tools to enable experiments in lab terrains with scale and complexity approaching that of nature. Besides advancing biology and establishing the new field of terradynamics, this research also has a broad impact on society, because the new theories and principles will lead to robots capable of multi-terrain, multi-modal locomotion to help humans in many real world applications.
Arnold O. Beckman exemplifies the meaning of the word humanitarian. Combined with his unwavering enthusiasm for life, his keen sense of humor and his strong moral and ethical principles, he is a national icon.