Simon’s interdisciplinary research focuses on bio-inspired compliant mechanisms for architectural design, specifically, using modern computational modeling and simulation techniques to transfer the bending and folding mechanisms found in plant movements and insect locomotion to elastic systems in architecture. His work has won numerous awards including the DETAIL Prize for the first ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010, which was also nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award. Other awards include UCB Berkeley’s Interdisciplinary Faculty Grant, the Gips-Schüle-Forschungspreis, the International Bionic-Award, the Ralph Adam Cram Award and the Imre Halasz Thesis Prize from MIT, the British Institution Award, and the Pininfarina-Förderpreis. Furthermore, he received grants from the SUTOR-Foundation, from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation).
Professor Full directs the Poly-PEDAL Laboratory, which studies the Performance, Energetics and Dynamics of Animal Locomotion (PEDAL) in many-footed creatures (Poly) such as cockroaches, crabs, and lizards. His research program in comparative physiology and biomechanics has shown how examining a diversity of animals can lead to the discovery of general principles. His fundamental discoveries in animal locomotion have inspired the design of novel neural control circuits, artificial muscles, autonomous legged search-and-rescue robots, and the first, synthetic self-cleaning dry adhesive inspired by his discovery on how geckos stick, named one of the top ten nanotechnology patents. Professor Full has authored over two hundred publications and has delivered over three hundred national and international lectures including six TED talks. Professor Full received a Presidential Young Investigator Award, was named a Mentor in the Life Sciences by the National Academy of Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Full received Berkeley’s Distinguished Award in 1996. He has served on the launch Committee for the Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation, taught the first course on campus in Design Innovation and is teaching a new course this semester on Bioinspired Design in Jacobs Hall to 110 students from a wide range of disciplines and years.
Professor Fearing directs the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab which aims to harness features of animal manipulation, locomotion, sensing, actuation, mechanics, dynamics, and control strategies to radically improve millirobot capabilities. Research in the lab ranges from fundamental understanding of mechanical principles to novel fabrication techniques to system integration of autonomous millirobots. The lab works closely with biologists to develop models of function which can be tested on engineered and natural systems. The lab’s current research is centered on all-terrain crawling using nanostructured adhesives and bioinspired flight.