Robots are progressively leaving the factories to penetrate inside more uncontrolled environments. This includes our own environment, where they have to interact with us, humans. Biorobotics investigates the applications where robots cross the boundaries with life sciences, either because of their intrinsic design (in which case robots are said to be 'bio-inspired'), or due to the physical and/or cognitive proximity they have with humans. This includes medical applications: nowadays, robots are routinely used in surgical theatres and rehab facilities.

This course covers some of the most recent developments in biorobotics.Through group projects prepared by the students, the course focusses on bio-inspired robots, both regarding their design and the way they are controlled. We particularly pay attention to highlight the bidirectional influence between robotics and biology: biology/nature inspiration helps in making better robots (e.g. regarding skills and agility), while robotics offers test benches to make new hypotheses about the functioning of the corresponding biological agent. The performances being achieved by these robots are compared to those of their human or animal counterpart.

Some project will also focus on robots displaying a physical interaction with humans, with a specific attention to robots being used for the rehabilitation and assistance of disabled users.