The University of Washington announced today that it has landed the Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI), a collaboration among UW’s Department of Biology, the College of Engineering, the Institute for Neuroengineering, and the eScience Institute. The five UW leads include UW CSE and EE professor Matt Reynolds, UW CSE adjunct professor and eScience Institute Senior Data Science Fellow Tom Daniel (who will direct the center), and eScience Institute Data Science Fellow and Mechanical Engineering professor Steve Brunton.
NIFTI aims to solve complex engineering and technical challenges related to unmanned flight using lessons learned from nature. Researchers will examine how animals use their senses to locate objects and navigate in complex environments or under sensory deprivation. Although the center is housed at UW, it will involve researchers from institutions around the nation and the world, including Imperial College London and Oxford University in the United Kingdom and Lund University in Sweden.
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research plans to provide $9 million to the center over the next six years, with additional funding coming from UW’s Office of the Provost, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the Departments of Biology and Applied Mathematics.
Read the UW media release and view a video demonstration here.
Read about the center on GeekWire here.