Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Centres: Structure & Motion Laboratory

Ben is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Structure & Motion Laboratory, currently studying the interaction of mechanics and muscle capability on animal locomotion.

Education:

  • (2009-2013)  EPSRC/ Astrium UK funded PhD at Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Towards Innovative Surface Mobility Systems for Next Generation Planetary Rovers, supervised by Dr C.M. Saaj (SSC) and Dr E. Allouis (Astrium UK)
  • (2008-2009)  MSc. in Space Technology and Planetary Exploration, University of Surrey
  • (2005-2008) BEng (Hons.) in Space Techology and Planetary Exploration, University of Surrey

Employment: 

  • (2012 - 2016) Postdoctoral Researcher: Structure & Motion Laboratory, Royal Veterinary College. Fundamental limits on muscle-actuated locomotor tasks: the challenges of powering intermittent weight support, with Dr Jim Usherwood
  • (2016 - ) Postdoctoral Researcher: Structure & Motion Laboratory, Royal Veterinary College. Advance, inform, test, refine and exploit the Muscle/Mechanical Compromise Framework, with Dr Jim Usherwood

 

After building walking robots for his MSc. and PhD projects Ben now investigates more fundamental principles of legged locomotion. His research interests include:

  • Investigating how mechanics and muscle capabilities interact to determine body posture and gait
  • How metabolic energy optimisation strategies scale with animal size
  • Design and implementation of systems for kinematic, kinetic and metabolic measurements of animals and humans
  • Virtual and robotic modelling of animal locomotion

 

 

Journal papers:

  • Usherwood J., & Smith B.J.H., (2018). The grazing gait, and implications of toppling table geometry for primate footfall sequences. Biology Letters, 14(5), 20180137.
  • Smith B.J.H., Cullingford L., & Usherwood J. (2015). Identification of mouse gaits using a novel force sensing exercise wheel. Journal of Applied Physiology, 119(6):704-18
  • Smith B.J.H., Saaj C. M., & Allouis E. (2013). Anubis: Artificial neuromodulation using a bayesian inference system. Neural Computation, 25(1), 221-258.

Conference Proceedings:

  • Smith B.J.H.,& Usherwood J., Do It Yourself gait analysis: a low cost pressure mat system for the home or classroom. SEB 2018, Florence, Italy, July 2018.
  • Smith B.J.H.,& Usherwood J., Automated measurement of mouse locomotion using an instrumented exercise wheel. LASA 2017, Birmingham, UK, November 2017.
  • Smith B.J.H.,& Usherwood J., Power minimizing strategies for changing speed in mice. SEB 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2017.
  • Smith B.J.H.,West T., & Usherwood J., Effects of chronic hypergravity exposure on mouse locomotor muscle and kinematics. SICB 2017, New Orleans, LA, USA, January 2017
  • Smith B.J.H.,West T., & Usherwood J., Automated measurement of mouse kinematics and kinetics under centrifuge induced hypergravity. SICB 2017, New Orleans, LA, USA, January 2017
  • Smith B.J.H.,& Usherwood J.,Measuring the effects of hypergravity on mouse locomotion. SICB 2016, Portland, OR, USA, January 2016.

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