PhD Position: Inverse Optimal Control of Cheetah Locomotion
Cape Town, South Africa
About the Role
We are seeking a PhD student to investigate the neuromechanics of legged manoeuvrability in the wild, specifically focusing on the cheetah as a model animal. The goal is to understand how animals negotiate trade-offs between competing requirements during locomotion, and how this can inform the design of future mobile robotic systems. The study will utilise an inverse optimal control approach to determine the cost function from observed motion, which has not yet been applied to study a free-moving animal in the wild. The successful student will investigate the neuromechanics of cheetah head stabilisation, spine, and tail during high-speed manoeuvres. This research aims to provide key insights into the dynamics and control of legged locomotion in animals, which can have implications for the development of agile and robust robotic systems. This project is fully funded by Mathworks.