Living Dynamical Systems

National Science Foundation, Physics of Living Systems Network

Living Dynamical Systems


To discover physical principles of how animals move in complex, challenging environments. Use tools from physics, neuroscience, biomechanics and robotics to extract mechanism of how animal and engineered systems move especially with respect to stability, agility, and robustness.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Neuromechanics – the physics of movement in the context of the brain and body, robots as physical models to explore locomotion, sensor and device development for small (insect-size) locomoting system, small flapping flight, small legged running, bio-inspired design.

Methods and Technologies

  • High-Speed Videography
  • Dynamic Systems
  • Stability and Maneuverability
  • Neural Recording and Control
  • Robophysics Models
  • Controls
  • Animal Experiments (mostly insects)
  • Experimental Engineering
  • Physical Modeling

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Physics
  • Computer Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Meeting Schedule & Location






VL 465

Team Advisors

Simon Sponberg
Izaak Neveln


National Science Foundation, Physics of Living Systems Network