Andrew L. Nelson
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Research Interests:

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Evolutionary Robotics Web Page

My main research interests include autonomous robot control, machine learning, learning in situated robots, biologically inspired robotics, evolutionary computing, and neural networks.

I am specifically interested in the application of artificial evolution toward the development of autonomous robots capable of operating for extended periods of time in complex environments.  My research in this area has focused on the use of direct competition to stimulate learning and adaptation in mobile robots.  Projects include the genetic training of neural networks for mobile robots playing competitive search and navigation games, learned navigation in robots using only tactical sensors, and the application of fuzzy logic control to autonomous robots operating in outdoor environments.

I am also interested in machine design and prototyping, including the design of low-cost robot research platforms.  Past projects include the design and construction of several small mobile robots, including components used in the EvBot robots, as well as the complete design, fabrication and testing of a fault-tolerant multi-phase electric drive motor for research into electric vehicle propulsion.  

Additional interests include cell and molecular biology. I have been involved in research into intracellular signaling, gene expression and gene regulation, as well as biophysics.  Research includes the development of a radiological assay for the detection of phosphorylation during cell signaling, work into characterization of mutations in Mucin genes related to Cystic Fibrosis, and the development of techniques for measurement of forces generated by cells adhered to silicone rubber substrates.

Teaching Interests:

Teaching interests include the development of courses in the application of soft computing methods to intelligent machine control. At the undergraduate level I have taught core electrical engineering labs, including introductory and intermediate circuits, and have been a grader for graduate classes in control theory, robotics, and optimal control.  I have been a guest lecturer in several graduate level courses and have developed lectures on genetic algorithms, neural networks and fuzzy logic.

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