Arm Control for World’s Largest Functional Brain Model

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Recorded on - Friday, March 28, 2014   10:00 AM ET

Spaun, the world’s largest functional model of the human brain, has a digital eye, which it uses for visual input, and a robotic arm that it uses to draw its responses. Having a realistic arm that behaves similarly to an actual arm, with appropriate muscle responses and arm segment lengths and mass, is important to getting human-like results.

Researchers attribute the success of the complex arm model to the symbolic computation power and model simplification capabilities of the modeling technology. The model led to highly efficient simulations of controller arms capable of interfacing with different control systems developed on several platforms.

This 30-minute webinar will go over current control algorithms being employed by the model, and their implementation on several complex arm models.



 Travis DeWolf, Doctoral Candidate, Computational Neuroscience Research Centre, University of Waterloo

Travis DeWolf is a Doctoral Candidate in the Systems Design Engineering department of the University of Waterloo. His research is in the field of motor control and computational neuroscience. Travis has published papers discussing biologically plausible frameworks for neural control of movement and skill development, and was co-author on the Science 2012 paper "A large scale model of the functioning brain". He is also the author of the scientific review blog, and assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of Motor Control at

 Paul Goossens, Vice President, Engineering Solution Services, Maplesoft

Paul directs Maplesoft’s Engineering Solution Services Group which provides application development, training, and complete turnkey solutions as a complement to Maplesoft’s engineering modeling products. A Mechanical engineer by background, Paul has over 20 years of experience in both engineering and software business management. Past positions include senior management positions for companies in engineering modeling solutions and high-performance real-time simulations. During the off-hours, Paul is reputed to be an exceptional blues drummer.


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