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Bioinspired Engineering

In today’s episode, we are joined by Brian Taylor, an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. His research revolves around bioinspired navigation and orientation. He joins us to discuss his work on Bioinspired magnetoreception and navigation using magnetic signatures as waypoints.

Brian discussed the different ways animals sense and navigate the world around them. He discussed how animals use Earth’s magnetic field for long-distance migration. He shared how this approach compares to conventional GPS systems.

Brian then discussed the methodology he used for simulating animal navigation in the lab. He also discussed the parameters, such as position, orientation, etc., used to model the animals' navigation. He discussed the strategy for understanding the animal’s navigation and replicating the process artificially.

Brian discussed the two kinds of robots used — tethered and untethered — and how they are used in the study. He also shared some open-ended questions researchers are working on in the field.

Learn more about our guest

Taylor’s lab



Other resource

Paper: A bioinspired navigation strategy that uses magnetic signatures to navigate without GPS in a linearized northern Atlantic ocean: a simulation study

Brian Taylor

Dr. Brian K. Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to this, he was an Assistant Professor of Biology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he directed the Quantitative Biology and Engineering Sciences (QBES) Laboratory (now WAKANDA). Prior to his academic appointments, Dr. Taylor was a Civil Service Research Mechanical Engineer with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory. His research uses engineering tools and approaches to better understand biological systems while simultaneously using an understanding of biology to develop the next generation of robust engineered autonomous systems. Dr. Taylor is a triple-alumnus of Case Western Reserve University, holding a BSE (Aerospace Engineering), and a MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Taylor is also a musician (trumpeter, arranger, and composer), and released an album titled “Spirito Sereno” in 2016.

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