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Biomimetics Group

Lab infrastructure

Bird and robotics research

To study how birds fly, develop new technology, design robots, and engage the general public I have developed state-of-the-art lab facilities and instrumentation.

Research facilities

  • Large biological lab space that can be compartmentalized to study bird flight, features large windows facing north for indirect daylight
  • Advanced makerspace to develop new robots and setups with daylight
  • Tiltable wind tunnel with a test section cross-section of 1.0 x 0.8 m for birds & robotics
  • Indoor and outdoor aviaries for various bird species

Design and prototyping infrastructure

  • CAD Design
  • COMSOL Multiphysics CFD & FEM Simulation
  • OpenFOAM 2D & 3D CFD capacity
  • Custom MATLAB modelling and analysis software
  • Various in-house 3D printers and laser cutter access
  • Electronics tools incl. microscopes and scopes
  • Fine mechanics shop with band saw, mill & drill press etc.

Outreach cameras

  • Phantom color high-speed camera, 3200 fps full frame HD (1x)
  • Small Sony cameras for high school projects (8x)

Research instrumentation

  • EKB high-speed projectors, 4kHz (6x)
  • Phantom high-speed research cameras, 1MP @ 3200 fps full frame (6x, B/W & full color)
  • Nikon photographic cameras and a wide range of lenses from macro to tele.
  • XROMM biplanar fluoroscopes with 16” image intensifiers (2x)
  • High-speed motion capture system, 3MP @ 1000 Hz (14 cameras; 2 systems)
  • Closed-loop controlled Turbulence Generation System for wind tunnel
  • Aerodynamics LaVision TOMO PIV system with DaVis software, High-speed laser, 1-10kHz, 30mJ pulse
  • ATI 6-axis force sensors and amplifiers (21x)
  • 1D, 2D, and 3D Aerodynamic Force Platforms
  • Capacitive distance sensors, 10kHz (10x)
  • Sorama 1k acoustic array, 1024 microphones
  • 3D Ultrasonic anemometer 100 Hz
  • 1D Dantec hot wire anemometer 10,000 Hz
  • Field deployable anemometer for robotics
  • B&K Seismometer & infrasound recorder
  • David 3D surface scanner
  • Dissection microscopes (2x)
  • Multichannel sonomicrometry and EMG recorders
  • A wide range of smaller research instruments

Additional research facilities and infrastructure are available in the Biomimetics Group through collaboration.

Lentink Tunnel

Bird and robotics research

I developed a one-of-a-kind wind tunnel for birds to find inspiration for designing aerial robots. The wind tunnel has very low turbulence (<0.03%) and is acoustically optimized. The test section is 1.0 x 0.8m and the wind speed is 0 – 50 m/s. Details can be found in our RSOS paper and check out the construction in this time-lapse


Society funds our research and projects through support of several agencies and organizations. The funding enables (1) a better understanding of biological flight, (2) the invention of new measurement technologies, (3) the development of innovative flying robots, (4) outreach through citizen science, and (5) a broader awareness of the bio-diversity in our backyard.