Category: lectures

Ant man Yonatan Munk joins the class

On November 9, 2011, our special guest (via Skype) was PhD candidate Yonatan Munk, from the Department of Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley. His class appearance can be seen in full on track 12 of the Bio-Aerial Locomotion collection on iTunes U. Yonatan Munk is writing his dissertation at this point, after working […]

The canopy ants: Prof Steve Yanoviak speaks in EK131

Canopy ants use “directed aerial descent” to return to their home tree trunk when they fall from a branch. They were the first known case of gliding in an insect with no wings— a completely unexpected discovery. They also glide intentionally backwards toward the tree, with their abdomen (gaster) leading and their head tailing, which […]

Welcome EK132 students

Tomorrow starts a new EK131/132 cycle, with a renewed cohort of freshmen starting their exploration of “Bio-Aerial Locomotion”. Welcome new students! To start, you probably want to find out more about what this course is about. You’ll find that in my Welcome to “Bio-aerial Locomotion” blog post. You’ll notice that it says that you will be […]

Falling: “The tale of the gecko”

When falling, geckos are able to right themselves turning their body in mid-air, and always land safely on their feet. It is fascinating to watch the slow-motion videos of the lizard dropping from a belly-up position, then using a swing of the tail to turn around into a skydiving posture. Even more fascinating is to […]

Welcome to “Bio-aerial Locomotion”

This is the blog of the engineering freshman seminar course titled “Bio-Aerial Locomotion”, taught by Prof. Lorena Barba at Boston University. This course is one of several options of the Introduction to Engineering series (EK 131/132) at the College of Engineering. The course aims to motivate the subject of bio-inspired engineering, characterized by seeking examples […]