Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > NSF Emerging Frontiers' program supports development of smart materials based on study of fish

Virginia Tech Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Michael Philen is the principal investigator in an interdisciplinary, three-university, National Science Foundation study to create biologically inspired material systems that have hierarchically structured sensing, actuation, and intelligent control.

Credit: Virginia Tech photo
Virginia Tech Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Michael Philen is the principal investigator in an interdisciplinary, three-university, National Science Foundation study to create biologically inspired material systems that have hierarchically structured sensing, actuation, and intelligent control.

Credit: Virginia Tech photo

Abstract:
After engineers and scientists at Virginia Tech, Harvard and Drexel finish studying the locomotion of fish in water, Michael Phelps may find he still has a few new ways to increase his own world-breaking Olympic times.

NSF Emerging Frontiers' program supports development of smart materials based on study of fish

Blacksburg, VA | Posted on August 19th, 2009

The remarkable ability of fish to maneuver in tight places, or to hover in one area efficiently, or to accelerate in a seemingly effortless fashion has researchers wondering if they can create smarter materials that emulate the biology of these vertebrates.

With an eye towards homeland defense needs, engineers have also noted that fish through neuromasts or 'hairs' in the lateral line are able to sense very small changes in their watery environment that allows them to detect and track prey and to form hydrodynamic images of the environment.

Michael Philen, assistant professor of aerospace and ocean engineering (AOE) at Virginia Tech, has pulled together a team of researchers to study these abilities and hopefully develop biologically inspired material systems that have hierarchically structured sensing, actuation, and intelligent control. This research will lead to state-of-the-art advanced materials that can intelligently sense and actuate a network of distributed robust sensors and actuators.

Philen has prior experience in this area. As a post doctoral researcher at Penn State, he spent time on a three-year project with the Defense Army Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a new structure/actuation system inspired by the mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties of plants.

Philen's proposal to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program to study fish to create smarter materials has received $1.95 million in funding. Philen's co-principal investigators are Harry Dorn, professor of chemistry, and Don Leo, associate dean of engineering, both at Virginia Tech. George Lauder, a professor of biology at Harvard, and James Tangorra, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Drexel, round out the team.

Working together, the team will develop distributed sensors and actuators using nanotechnology, advanced composite technology, and smart polymeric materials for understanding the organization and structure of the control systems fish use for sensing and maneuvering.

With the inclusion of Harvard University, the research team also plans to develop a traveling exhibit on robotic fish that showcases the biology of aquatic propulsion, new actuator and sensing technologies and how these can be integrated to design a robotic fish. Harvard's Museum of Natural History (http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/ with its links to "Kids and Families" and "Educators" receive some 33,000 school-aged visitors each year. They will have access to the robotic fish exhibit on line through this site.

Lisa McNair of Virginia Tech's Engineering Education Department, an expert on applying theories of interdisciplinary collaboration in research and teaching practices, will work with the Harvard Museum to assess the impact on the students' understanding of the biological mechanisms that allow fish to sense, swim and maneuver efficiently with minimal processing.

Philen explained that over the past 20 years experts such as George Lauder from Harvard have investigated a number of aspects of fish control systems for movement. These studies have shown that fish possess a two-gear muscular system that controls movement. One is for slow-speed movement and the other is for rapid movements and escape responses.

"Despite this progress, there is still very little understanding of the structure and organization of the hierarchical control systems in fish or how the actuation and sensing systems are integrated to perform steady and maneuvering locomotor tasks," Philen said. "Researchers have explored various system identification techniques for characterizing and understanding a number of biological systems, such as insect walking, renal autoregulation in rats, and locomotor oscillators in the spinal cords of lampreys. However, little or no research has been done on the hierarchal control systems found in fish."

The team of researchers plans to create a robotic fish-like underwater vehicle by integrating their biological investigations of the fish with engineering knowledge about sensors and actuators.

"We view this as an exciting opportunity to create a transformative leap in the development of new biologically inspired material systems," Philen said.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lynn Nystrom

540-231-4371

Copyright © Virginia Tech

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New research project supports internationalisation in nano-research: Launch of new “Baltic Sea Network” November 22nd, 2014

3rd Iran-Proposed Nano Standard Approved by International Standard Organization November 22nd, 2014

NMTI announces breakthrough solutions for HAMR nanoantenna for next-generation ultra-high density magnetic storage November 21st, 2014

Canatu Launches CNB In-Mold Film for Transparent Touch on 3D Surfaces –in Cars, Household Appliances, Wearables, Portables November 20th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New research project supports internationalisation in nano-research: Launch of new “Baltic Sea Network” November 22nd, 2014

3rd Iran-Proposed Nano Standard Approved by International Standard Organization November 22nd, 2014

NMTI announces breakthrough solutions for HAMR nanoantenna for next-generation ultra-high density magnetic storage November 21st, 2014

Quantum mechanical calculations reveal the hidden states of enzyme active sites November 20th, 2014

Discoveries

NMTI announces breakthrough solutions for HAMR nanoantenna for next-generation ultra-high density magnetic storage November 21st, 2014

UO-industry collaboration points to improved nanomaterials: University of Oregon microscope puts spotlight on the surface structure of quantum dots for designing new solar devices November 20th, 2014

Silver Nanoparticles Produced in Iran from Forest Plants Extract November 20th, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Sustainable Nanotechnologies Project November 20th, 2014

Total Nanofiber Solutions Company FibeRio® Launches The Fiber Engine® FX Series Systems with 10X Increase in Output November 18th, 2014

Nanocomposites Strengthen Bone Implants November 13th, 2014

Production of Magnetic Nanoparticles with New Structures in Iran November 13th, 2014

Announcements

New research project supports internationalisation in nano-research: Launch of new “Baltic Sea Network” November 22nd, 2014

3rd Iran-Proposed Nano Standard Approved by International Standard Organization November 22nd, 2014

NMTI announces breakthrough solutions for HAMR nanoantenna for next-generation ultra-high density magnetic storage November 21st, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Homeland Security

Better bomb-sniffing technology: University of Utah engineers develop material for better detectors November 4th, 2014

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 2014

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Sports

‘Small’ transformation yields big changes September 16th, 2014

CEA-Leti and CORIMA Team up on Force Sensors Integrated in Cycle Wheels to Measure Rider Power Output June 26th, 2014

‘Four!' Heads Up, Wide Use of More Flexible Metallic Glass Coming Your Way: Advances in Glass Alloys Lead to Strength, Flexibility March 4th, 2014

ASTM International Nanotechnology Committee Approves Airborne Nanoparticle Measurement Standard December 10th, 2013

Nanobiotechnology

Quantum mechanical calculations reveal the hidden states of enzyme active sites November 20th, 2014

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Protein-engineered cages aid studies of cell functions November 19th, 2014

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Implementation of DNA Chains in Designing Nanospin Pieces November 9th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More












ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE