IHMC breaks ground on new, $30 million human performance research complex

The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition broke ground today on a new $30 million project in downtown Pensacola, setting up the next chapter in the research facility’s journey of innovation and collaboration.  The IHMC Healthspan, Resilience and Performance complex will be a leading-edge lab and office building that will create a research hub, based in Northwest Florida, for advancing human healthspan, resilience, and performance with the potential to lead the field. The facility is an investment in the intellectual capital of Northwest Florida, creating a hub of excellence in healthspan, resilience, and performance research that will draw leading… Read More

Ed Weiler on the Hubble and James Webb telescopes and NASA’s search for life

Ed Weiler wanted to be among NASA’s first scientist astronaut. He made it through several rounds of selection, but in the end, he wasn’t chosen.   “Then I gave up and was happy to be an astronomer,” Weiler says.   Fortunately, he had another path that brought him to NASA. Indeed, he went on to a 33-year career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, including 20 years as chief scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope, the forerunner of the James Webb.  In STEM-Talk Episode 147, available now on IHMC’s website and wherever you listen to podcasts, Dr. Ed Weiler talks about… Read More

IHMC wins Best Paper award at International Conference on Humanoid Robots 2022

The IHMC’s robotics team recently was lauded at one of the premier conferences in their field.  The team of Duncan Calvert, Bhavyansh Mishra, Stephen McCrory, Sylvain Bertrand, Robert Griffin, and Jerry Pratt won the Best Paper award at the International Conference on Humanoid Robots 2022 conference in November in Okinawa, Japan.  The conference is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Robotics and Automation Society. The paper is titled “A Fast, Autonomous, Bipedal Walking Behavior Over Rapid Regions.” It is linked here. The publication highlights a newly constructed behavior control system for achieving fast, autonomous, bipedal walking,… Read More

Science Saturdays start 2023 with sessions on robotics, roller coasters, human performance and more

The joy is in discovery.  That’s what Nicole Esposito sees at Science Saturdays, IHMC’s weekend science enrichment series. She is an IHMC Research Associate who works in the robotics lab at Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola. The team she is part of has an international reputation for excellence and innovation.  But Science Saturdays connects her to a larger purpose.   “It’s always a joy to watch how quickly these kids learn,” she said. “It’s always fun to talk about a topic you enjoy, but doing so with these groups of kids, who are so eager and ready… Read More

Dr. James Allen named fellow by Association for Computational Linguistics

IHMC Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist Dr. James Allen has earned another accolade in his long and distinguished career in natural language understanding and research. Allen in December 2022 was named a fellow by the Association for Computational Linguistics. He was one of eight leaders in the field to be so recognized by ACL, a leading professional organization in the study of computational language processing — a field Allen has helped pioneer. The nominating committee recognized Allen, who is also a professor emeritus at the University of Rochester where he has been on the faculty since 1978, “for significant… Read More

IHMC launches 2023 Evening Lecture Series in January

IHMC’s 2023 Evening Lecture series is kicking off this month with speakers highlighting healthy longevity and progress in exoskeleton research. Both IHMC campuses — Pensacola and Ocala — are opening the free public lecture series with January lectures by Dr. Alexander Fleming and Dr. Gwen Bryan. How can you increase healthy longevity beyond common senses measures such as good nutrition and physical activity? That’s the subject that Fleming will explore on Jan. 25 in Pensacola. Fleming’s talk, “Targeting Healthy Longevity—Why, How, and When Will We Have the Means of Living Longer and Healthier,” is the first of the 2023 season… Read More

Dr. Gwen Bryan shares the future of exoskeletons in latest “STEM-Talk”

We walk every day, so we think it’s an easy thing to do. But when we try to recreate it with an exoskeleton in the lab, the truth reveals how complex and challenging it is. That’s the puzzle that Dr. Gwen Bryan is working to solve as part of the exoskeleton team at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Episode 147 of “STEM-Talk” features a conversation with Bryan, an IHMC Research Scientist who investigates wearable robotic devices aimed at augmenting human performance in clinical, occupational, and military applications.  The episode is available now wherever you listen to podcasts…. Read More

STEM-Talk chats with Dr. Dan Pardi on flipping the focus to “actual health”

What a revolution might it be if the healthcare system was built around our actual health, as opposed to the way it currently centers on treating an injury or disease once it occurs?  That’s one of the ideas that Dr. Dan Pardi explores in the latest episode of STEM-Talk (Episode 146). In his conversation with IHMC Founder Dr. Ken Ford and IHMC Senior Research Scientist Dr. Marcas Bamman, Pardi talks about the flaws in a health system that is really built around treatment, rather than health and wellness support — and what it might take to switch that focus.  Pardi… Read More

Exoskeleton research at IHMC moving forward

IHMC has a long legacy of excellence in exoskeleton research. The potential benefits of exoskeletons include increased strength and endurance, reduced joint loading, resistance exercise, rehabilitation after injury, and enabling mobility for those with disease or disability. Two exoskeleton projects at IHMC — Quix and Eva — are undergoing upgrades thanks to a robotics team that is itself been expanded in the last two years. Read more about this and other IHMC projects in the newest edition of the newsletter. Quix is the fourth exoskeleton prototype developed by the IHMC exoskeleton team. It’s getting a new lease on life as… Read More

STEM-Talk’s “Ask Me Anything” tackles AI, hypersonics, fasting and more

It’s time for another Ask Me Anything episode where STEM-Talk cohost Dawn Kernagis asks Ken questions submitted by listeners. In this episode, available wherever you listen to podcasts, Ken and Dawn weigh in on: —  Whether AI is becoming sentient. — How women in midlife might protect their bodies from the negative effects of a slowing metabolism. — A Stanford study that compared a low-carbohydrate diet with a Mediterranean diet. — Whether fasting helps optimize cognitive performance. — The future of hypersonic technology. — And a lot more. If you have a question after listening to today’s episode or any… Read More

IHMC launches multi-year project augmenting, assessing performance in extreme environments

Recently, IHMC kicked off a multi-year project sponsored by Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RX) with participants from AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing, Airman Systems Directorate (RH).   Our program “Augmenting and Assessing Performance in Extreme Environments” (A2PEX) aims for 1) real-time sensing via wearable sensors, and 2) assessment and augmentation of cognitive performance in missions conducted in extreme environments.    The goal is to develop a robust wearable system that helps overcome fatigue and other stressors by continually sensing, assessing, and augmenting Airmen and Guardian performance.      Principle Investigators are IHMC’s own Dr. Morley Stone and Dr. Tim… Read More

Dr. Jason Fung, “The Obesity Code” author, on insulin resistance and metabolic health

Dr. Ken Ford is joined by guest co-host Dr. Tommy Wood for a fascinating interview with Dr. Jason Fung,  the best-selling author of “The Obesity Code” and “The Complete Guide to Fasting,” on episode 144 of IHMC’s podcast STEM-Talk, which is now live and available on podcast apps and YouTube. Fung is a Toronto-based nephrologist who has gained international attention for combining a low-carb diet with intermittent fasting to help thousands of overweight patients reverse their type 2 diabetes, lose weight, and improve their metabolic health. “We mistook the symptom (high blood glucose) for the disease (type 2 diabetes) and… Read More

“Why We Get Sick” author Ben Bikman now live on STEM-Talk

The STEM-Talk interview with the author of “Why We Get Sick” is now available on podcast apps and IHMC’s website. Dr. Ben Bikman is a biomedical scientist at Brigham Young University who is known for his research into the role of insulin and ketones as key drivers of metabolic function. In “Why We Get Sick,” Bikman takes a deep dive into insulin resistance and metabolic health. In his STEM-Talk interview, Bikman discusses his books as well as his extensive research that links many of today’s major diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, to insulin resistance. STEM-Talk cohosts Drs. Ken Ford… Read More

Video shows progress of IHMC humanoid robot Nadia

The IHMC Robotics team has unveiled a video of the first humanoid robot built in-house in nearly 10 years.   Working with Boardwalk Robotics, the IHMC team has designed Nadia as the next generation of humanoid robots the team has created.  The Nadia project aims to develop highly mobile ground robots that can function in indoor and urban environments where stairs, ladders, and debris require robots to have mobility and manipulation dexterity nearing that of a human. The applications of this design could be particularly useful in explosive ordinance disposal, nuclear remediation, disaster response, firefighting, and other scenarios that might be… Read More

IHMC’s Ken Ford leads ketosis session at Targeting Metabesity Conference 2022

IHMC’s founder and CEO Dr. Ken Ford will be one of more than 70 speakers at a virtual conference on Targeting Metabesity. Also speaking at the conference is Dr. Morley Stone, the former Chief Technology Officer for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and former Senior Vice President for Research at Ohio State University, who is now IHMC’s Chief Strategic Partnership Officer. At the Oct. 10 to 13 conference, Ford will moderate a session on emerging research related to endogenous and exogenous ketosis in health and disease as well as the role of ketones in mild traumatic brain injury and… Read More

STEM-Talk guest Vyvyanne Loh on “TOFI”, metabolic diseases, and weight management

Metabolic disease may be the greatest epidemic we face. Dr. Vyvyanne Loh has built her medical practice around dealing with it. She is the founder and leader of Transform Alliance for Health, a Boston preventive-care practice that specializes in weight management and the treatment of chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia Loh is a board-certified physician in obesity and internal medicine. She joins us on the latest episode of STEM-Talk, where the conversation includes the concept of TOFI — Thin Outside, Fat Inside. “Most people assume my patients could be identified visually in terms of their obesity,… Read More

2022 Evening Lecture series speakers announced

The award winning IHMC Evening Lecture Series provides a community forum where individuals gather to hear engaging and enlightening conversation. Speakers present an ongoing series of fascinating lectures on meaningful topics in subject areas including science and technology, civic leadership, and urban planning. “The Evening Lecture Series has long been an important part of IHMC’s outreach to the community at large,” said Dr. Ken Ford, IHMC’s co-founder and CEO. “The Fall slate of speakers is an impressive mix of topics and subject matter areas. We do hope that the community will join us to hear these fascinating experts share their… Read More

Dr. Jeffery Iliff on glymphatic system’s role in health of brains young and old

In the latest episode of STEM-Talk, Dr. Jeffery Iliff talks about his research into neurodegeneration and traumatic brain injury. The episode is available wherever you listen to podcasts. Iliff is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington as well as the associate director of research at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. He also is a co-leader for research at the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. In the interview, cohosts Dr. Ken Ford and Dr. Dawn Kernagis talk with Iliff about his investigations into the newly discovered glymphatic system, a brain-wide network… Read More

Put IHMC’s Science Saturday on your calendar today

Back-to-school means back to Science Saturdays for the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. The 2022-2023 school year may have just begun, but it is never too early to plan for Science Saturday in your schedule. The Fall season of IHMC’s STEM enrichment series starts Sept 24 in Pensacola and Sept. 10 at the Ocala campus. Science Saturday is a series of 90-minute educational enrichment sessions aimed at students in grades 3-6. Sessions slated for the fall include bottle rockets, Sphero robots, 3D printing and more. Science Saturday sessions are led by IHMC researchers who take part of their… Read More

Dr. Kaleen Lavin on STEM-Talk talks about biology, exercise, and aging

STEM-Talk episode 140 is now available featuring Dr. Kaleen Lavin, an IHMC researcher who investigates the molecular mechanisms by which the body adapts and reacts to stressors such as exercise, training, and aging. At IHMC, Lavin uses computational-biology techniques to understand and improve human health, resilience, and performance. STEM-Talks co-hosts Dr. Ken Ford and Dr. Dawn Kernagis interview Lavin about this work as well as her use of exercise as a countermeasure for a wide range of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. The conversation includes an in-depth talk with Lavin about her recent paper that took a comprehensive… Read More