ONR awards Dr. Leftwich a $1.5m grant to study the novel propulsion mechanisms of the California sea lion

February 09, 2021

megan leftwich

Dr. Megan Leftwich and her lab have been awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Office of Naval Research for the project “Locomotion and Transitions of an Amphibious System: Biologic to Robotic.” This project has two main objectives: 1) to refine our knowledge of the novel propulsion mechanisms of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and extend it to high demand underwater environments; and 2) to develop a biological, i.e. morphologic and kinematic, understanding or sea lion locomotion on land. The proposed work will build on and extend fundamental studies of the California sea lion’s swimming mechanism and thrust production capabilities. Additionally, it will extend preliminary work on the sea lion’s ability to operate on land including the development of a prototype amphibious robotic platform. This is an interdisciplinary project with co-principal investigators from Drexel University and West Chester University.