Overview

research in Goldman Lab Our work focuses on problems that involve complex interaction of matter (physical and biological) with materials that can display solid and fluid properties (like sand, mud, bark, brush). For example, how do organisms like lizards, crabs, and cockroaches cope with locomotion on complex terrestrial substrates (e.g. sand, bark, leaves, and grass)? We seek to discover how biological locomotion on challenging terrain results from the nonlinear, many degree of freedom interaction of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems of organisms with materials with complex physical behavior. The study of novel biological and physical interactions with complex media can lead to the discovery of principles that govern the physics of the media. Our approach is to integrate laboratory and field studies of organism biomechanics with systematic laboratory studies of physics of the substrates, as well as to create mathematical and physical (robot) models of both organism and substrate. Discovery of the principles of locomotion on such materials will enhance robot agility on such substrates.

Research Projects (links below are presently bare-bones and a bit outdated--this section will be expanded...In the meantime, please visit our publications page for an up-to-date pdfs and videos of our journal publications)

Animal locomotion on granular media Animal locomotion within granular media
Robot Locomotion on granular media Robot locomotion within granular media
Impact in granular media Drag in granular media