High school intern analyzes insect athletics for improved robot design

Nico Deshler was one of three high school students that Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology was able to support for a research internship during Summer 2015. Deshler, a rising senior at the Washington International School, conducted research in INBT affiliated labs through a supplement to the institute’s annual National Science Foundation funded Research Experience for Undergraduates.

Nico Deshler, center, with Emily Palmer, left, and Prof.  Mittal, right. Photo by Will Kirk.

Nico Deshler, center, with Emily Palmer, left, and Prof. Mittal, right. Photo by Will Kirk.

Deshler worked in the mechanical engineering laboratory of Rajat Mittal, who is studying the motion of spider crickets to improve robot design. Deshler was co-mentored by Noah Cowan, associate professor of mechanical engineering. The research team thinks that by analyzing the movements of non-human creatures, they may engineer better helper robot designs. Read more about this fascinating work, including a slow-motion video of crickets jumping, in a Johns Hopkins University press release.

Other high schoolers who participated in the summer REU supplemental program included Prathik Naidu, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School who worked in the Martin Ulmschneider lab and Nahom Yimam, a student at Thomas S. Wooton High School who worked in the Peter Searson lab.

All press inquiries about this program or about INBT in general should be directed to Mary Spiro, INBT’s science writer and media relations director at mspiroATjhu.edu.

 

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