Neurobionics Lab

Laksh Kumar Punith, PhD




Dr. Laksh Kumar Punith is a Research Investigator in the Neurobionics Lab at the University of Michigan’s Robotics Department. He holds a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (‘15), and a Ph.D. in Robotics from Georgia Institute of Technology (‘22). As a roboticist, Dr. Punith has been fascinated by how animals move so much better than any robots we’ve ever built - all while having hardware that should make their job much harder - namely, slower communication (i.e. neurons), state-dependent actuators (i.e. muscles) and squishy transmission (i.e. tendons). To solve this conundrum, he (1) develops hypotheses of how animals move from comparative biomechanics literature and experiments in the lab and (2) directly tests them by attempting to generate movement in mathematical models and organic robots. He hopes this approach will not only shed light on the basic science of animal locomotion, but also serve as an accelerant in building better organic and inorganic robots.