Exploring the Possibilities of Octopus-Inspired Machine Intelligence: Juncal Arbelaiz Mugica’s Soft Robotics Research

Bio-inspired machine intelligence: a move towards a wiggle?
Juncal Arbelaiz Mugica, a native Spaniard, is well-versed in the octopus. Arbelaiz, however, appreciates the octopus in a new way. She has been researching soft-robotics.

Each of the eight arms of an Octopus has a certain degree of autonomy. Arbelaiz is interested in how to create decentralized intelligence within human-made systems that have embedded sensing, computation and processing. Arbelaiz, an applied math student at MIT, is currently working on the fundamentals for optimal distributed control and estimate in her final weeks of studying for her PhD.

She is inspired by the intelligence of invertebrates, like octopus or jellyfish. Her ultimate goal is to design novel control strategies for flexible, \”soft\” robotics that can be used in sensitive or tight environments, as a surgical instrument or for search and rescue missions.


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