Conference of the French Society for Biomechanics

The 44th conference of the French Society for Biomechanics (Congrès de la Société de Biomécanique) takes place in Poitiers (France) in 2019. The scientific program includes a number of interesting contibrutions to the following overall topics (Published Conference Abstracts [PDF]):

  • Biofluid mechanics
  • Humanoid robotics
  • Sports biomechanics
  • Cellular and tissue biomechaincs
  • Biomechanics and palaeontology

I presented our work on the biomechanics of the neck in woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are one of the three model species that we study within the ANR-funded project Avineck in Paris. The versatility of the neck in birds is an excellent opportunity for bioengineering, but prior to designing a technological model, the biological system must be understood; in particular regarding the form-function relationships.

Woodpeckers are highly interesting because they are very lightweight, but are capable to dig into dense tree trunks (Puverel et al. 2019). We took this bird species as a first example for a biologically inspired robot arm that combines precision and power to maximize performance (Böhmer et al. 2019). In this context, we (1) analyzed the neck musculature which supplies force for movement, (2) established a planar robotic model using several stacked tensegrity crossed bar mechanisms and (3) integrated all data into an actuated model of the bird neck. Eventually, the prototype of the woodpecker’s neck will serve as a starting point for future invention and application such as industrial soft-robots that execute their task in collaboration with humans in an efficient and safe way.


Böhmer C, Fasquelle B, Furet M, Wenger P, Abourachid A (2019). Combining precision and power to maximize performance: a case study of the woodpecker’s neck. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering: Supplement for the International French Society of Biomechanics 2019 Conference 22 (Sup 1): S2-4, Poitiers, France. [PDF]

Böhmer C (2019, in press). Der Hals als Bioinspiration für technische Innovationen [The neck as bioinspiration for technical innovations]. in Werneburg I and Betz O. Phylogenie, Funktionsmorphologie und Bionik. Texte zum 60. Phylogenetischen Symposium in Tübingen. xx pp, ISBN 978-3-947020-xx-x, Scidinge Hall Verlag Tübingen. [PDF]

Puverel C, Abourachid A, Böhmer C, Leban J-M, Svoboda M and Paillet Y (2019) This is my spot: what are the characteristics of the trees excavated by the Black Woodpecker? A case study in two managed French forests. Forest Ecology and Management 453: 117621. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117621.

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