Many fishes swim efficiently over long distances to find food or during migrations. They also have to accelerate rapidly to escape predators. These two behaviors require different body mechanics: for efficient swimming, fish should be very flexible, but for rapid acceleration, they should be stiffer. Here, I will discuss recent experiments that show that they can use their muscles to tune their effective body mechanics. Control strategies inspired by the muscle activity in fishes may help design better soft robotic devices.
Biography: Eric Tytell received his M.Phil. in Zoology from Cambridge University in 1999 and his Ph.D. in Organismal Biology from Harvard University in 2005. He was a postdoctoral researcher in Neuroscience at University of Maryland, College Park from 2005-2010 and then an assistant research scientist in Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University from 2010-2012. Since 2012, he has been an Assistant Professor of Biology at Tufts University.