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Steps

James Schmiedeler, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, builds and conducts research with biped robots. He’s quick to point out that physical therapy experience is conspicuously absent from his CV, but as an engineer, he sees parallels. “It’s not too hard as an engineer to look at the human body and think of it as a mechanical system, and if you include the nerves, an electromechanical system,” says Schmiedeler. “Both have ‘actuators’ - we use electric motors on the robots, humans have muscles that are far more efficient than anything we have access to. Both have joints, a rigid structure.”

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Categories: Research

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