John Hallam

@ University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Title: From Lizards to LEGO, and back again?

Abstract: The ears of lizards are, for their size, extremely sensitive to the direction of a sound source over a relatively wide frequency range. They achieve this sensitivity by exploiting the well-understood pressure difference receiver concept. However, the detailed behviour of such a system in the hysical world is very hard to model, which suggests biorobotics may be a fruitful approach. We shall see how building a lizard robot allows study of behaviours supported by the lizard ear, and consider how such knowledge may be exploited in technological innovation.

Biography: Prof. John Hallam graduated with First Class Honours in Mathematics from the University of Oxford in 1979, completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh in 1984 and joined the teaching Faculty in that Department in 1985. He established the Edinburgh Mobile Robotics Research Group, having been active in mobile robotics research for almost 25 years. In 2003 he moved to the Maersk Institute at the University of Southern Denmark, where he leads the Embodied Systems unit and is Director of the Centre for BioRobotics. The current focus of his catholic research interest in robotics is in biological modelling using robotic techniques, evolutionary robotics, and collective robotics. He has published around 100 journal and international conference papers on various robotic and non-symbolic computing topics, has designed electronic hardware both for Mobile Robotics Group experiments and commercially, and is the President of the International Society for Adaptive Behaviour (ISAB).