I lead two integrated research labs; the Tufts Neuromechanics Laboratory explores the neural processes that organize sensory and motor information to control locomotion of a soft bodied insect (the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta). The Biomimetic Devices Laboratory focuses on applying biological principles in the design, fabrication and control of soft robots. Soft animals can deform in complex ways and one of our major research goals is to identify how they control their movements in a computationally efficient manner using the principles of embodiment and morphological computation. Findings from this research are then adapted to build and control soft crawling and climbing robots (SoftWorms) both as a research platform and for solving real-world problems. A related long-term goal is to grow robotic devices using a combination of biosynthetic materials, cellular modulation, and tissue engineering. These cell-based biosynthetic robots will exploit the advantages of insect stem cells to construct self-assembling, bio-fueled and biodegradable machines.