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

IHMC receives grant to continue SquadBot research program

The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition robotics team lead by Dr. Robert Griffin secured a $3 million grant from the Office of Naval Research for SquadBot 2. The grant was approved in the summer of 2022. The grant will allow the team to build upon the progress made on the first iteration of the SquadBot platform, named Nadia. A fully functional Nadia would be capable of working alongside and in place of soldiers in operations including building search, patrol, and bomb disposal. “Nadia has the potential to shift the paradigm for urban operations and exploration, with the potential… Read More

STEM-Talk explores rapamycin and the biology of aging

On episode 139 of STEM-Talk Dr. Matt Kaeberlein talks about the biology of aging, rapamycin, and what he has learned about slowing the aging process. Kaeberlein is a professor of pathology at the University of Washington who is well-known for his investigations into the basic mechanisms of aging. Much of his research is focused on identifying interventions that promote healthspan and lifespan. In a wide-ranging interview, STEM-Talk cohosts Dr. Ken Ford and Dr. Dawn Kernagis talk to Kaeberlein about longevity, his research into fasting and caloric restriction, and his recent investigations into rapamycin, the only known pharmacological agent to extend… Read More

Dr. Mark Lewis talks hypersonics in STEM-Talk Episode 138

Failure is an important part of research. But in a risk-averse culture, the chance to learn from failure is hampering the development of some of the most important national defense tools needed for our arsenal, argues the expert guest on Episode 138 of STEM-Talk. Dr. Mark Lewis is executive director of National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI), a nonpartisan think tank focused on technologies that are critical to the future of national defense. Previously, Lewis was the Director of Defense Research & Engineering in the U.S. Department of Defense, overseeing technology modernization for all military services and DoD… Read More

IHMC Summer Robotics Camp helps fuel a love of science for students

If Jones Moore grows up to be an engineer, IHMC might be able to take a little credit. Jones, 12, has been to nearly every Science Saturday session Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition has hosted. This month, he spent his first week at Summer Robotics Camp as a rising eighth-grader. He was one of nearly 40 students who spent a week learning from the best at IHMC’s 2022 summer camp experience. Jones says the best part of robotics camp was building robots and learning to code. Robotics Camp is one of IHMC’s signature community outreach efforts for students,… Read More

Greg Potter talks sleep quality, influences in STEM-Talk episode 137

Sleep is a precious commodity — especially if you struggle with it. Nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and circadian biology are an interrelated web with tremendous influence on the quality of our sleep. In the latest episode of STEM-Talk (episode 137), we pick up a conversation with Dr. Greg Potter in an interview where he explores topics including insomnia, sleep apnea, time-restricted eating, exercise, nutrition, and supplementation. The first part of our interview (STEM-Talk episode 136) with Potter brought a deep-dive into circadian biology, sleep, diet, and metabolism. Potter ‘s work has been featured in the BBC World Service, the Washington Post,… Read More

Dr. Niranjan Suri named IHMC associate director

Dr. Niranjan Suri has been named an associate director at Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Suri is an IHMC Senior Research Scientist and Associate for Research for the Information Sciences Division at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Suri has been part of the IHMC family since 1994 and was part of its beginnings at the University of West Florida.  It is a fitting chapter in the career of Suri, who first connected with IHMC founder Dr. Ken Ford as a UWF student and teaching assistant back in the early 1990s. “I have known Niranjan since he was a… Read More

Carol Carlan joins IHMC as director of philanthropy

Carol Carlan has joined the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition as director of philanthropy. Carlan, who most recently had been president of Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation, brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and a deep connection to the community to the new role. “IHMC is a jewel of Pensacola. The team there has built an international reputation for excellence in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics,” Carlan said. “The healthspan, resilience, and performance research is on the same trajectory. The chance to be a part of IHMC, and to tell its story, was a thrilling opportunity. I… Read More

Greg Potter STEM-Talk tracks power of body’s “master clock”

Your body’s “master clock” evolved to help keep you alive and safe. And when it’s disrupted, it doesn’t take long at all for the negative impacts of that circadian rhythm shift to be felt in your health and well-being. The latest episode of STEM-Talk (episode 136) brings a deep-dive into the intricate connections between your body’s circadian biology, sleep, diet, and metabolism, with Dr. Greg Potter. Potter gained attention in the U.S. and Europe for his research into the importance of biological rhythms and sleep and how they affect people’s lives. His work has been featured in the BBC World… Read More