Floris van Breugel

Asst. Prof. at University of Nevada, Reno

Mechanical Engineering
Integrative Neuroscience
Ecology & Evolution

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Flies, DATA, AND Robots

We study insects for inspiration in designing robust and novel control systems for robots. Our lab uses real-time tracking, high speed video, and virtual reality to study freely moving animals. Then, aided by modern machine learning tools and control theory, we analyze the behavior, and implement the principles on robotic systems. Along the way, we use genetic tools available in the fruit fly to gain insight into how brains function. 

Floris van Breugel earned his PhD from Caltech in 2014 in Control and Dynamical Systems under the support of NSF and Hertz graduate fellowships while working with Michael H Dickinson on insect flight biomechanics, control, and multi-sensory integration. He subsequently went to the University of Washington to work with Jeff Riffell and J Nathan Kutz as a Postdoc to work on insect search strategies and machine learning approaches to system identification of complex systems, supported by a Sackler Fellowship in Biophysics and a Moore-Sloan-WRF Fellowship in DataScience. Floris joined the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at UNR in January 2019.