Publications

    Reviews
  1. *E. Roth, *S. Sponberg and N. J. Cowan. “A comparative approach to closed-loop computation”. Curr Opin Neurobiol, 25:54-62, 2014. [pdf] *Contributed equally.
  2. N. J. Cowan, M. M. Ankarali, J. P. Dyhr, M. S. Madhav, E. Roth, S. Sefati, S. Sponberg, S. A. Stamper, E. S. Fortune, and T. L. Daniel . “Feedback control as a framework for understanding tradeoffs in biology”.Integr Comp Biol, 54(2):223-237, 2014. [pdf]
    Journal Publications
  1. E. E. Sutton, A. Demir, S. A. Stamper and E. S. Fortune and N. J. Cowan. “Dynamic modulation of visual and electrosensory gains for locomotor control”. J. R. Soc. Interface, 13(118):20160057, 2016. [pdf] [Data and Source Code]
  2. A. Lamperski and N. J. Cowan. “Optimal control with noisy time. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control” , 61(2):319-333, 2016. Preprint: arXiv:1401.0202.
  3. I. Uyanik, M. M. Ankarali, N. J. Cowan, U. Saranli, and O. Morgul. “Identification of a vertical hopping robot model via harmonic transfer functions”. Trans. Inst. Measurement Control, 38(5):501-511, 2016. [pdf]
  4. M. M. Ankarali, S. Sefati, M. S. Madhav, A. Long, A. J. Bastian, and N. J. Cowan. “Walking dynamics are symmetric (enough)”. J. R. Soc. Interface, 12(108):20150209, 2015. [pdf] [Data and Source Code]
  5. J. P. Swensen, M. Lin, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. “Torsional Dynamics of Steerable Needles: Modeling and Fluoroscopic Guidance”. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 61(11):1-1, 2014. [pdf]
  6. J. M. Mongeau, A. Demir, C. J. Dallmann, K. Jayaram, N. J. Cowan, and R. J. Full. “Mechanical processing via passive dynamic properties of the cockroach antenna can facilitate control during rapid running”. J Exp Biol, 217(18):3333-3345. [pdf]
  7. M. M. Ankarali, H. Tutkun Şen, A. De, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. “Haptic feedback enhances rhythmic motor control by reducing variability, not improving convergence rate”. J Neurophysiol, 111(6):1286-1299, 2014. [pdf] [Download cover illustration]
  8. J. M. Mongeau, A. Demir, J. Lee, N. J. Cowan, and R. J. Full. “Locomotion and mechanics mediated tactile sensing: antenna reconfiguration simplifies control during high-speed navigation in cockroaches”. J Exp Biol, 216(24):4530-4541, 2013. [pdf] Highlighted in Inside JEB: Antenae’s Mechanical Role in Escaping
  9. A. Rosenberg, N. J. Cowan, and D. E. Angelaki. “The visual representation of 3D object orientation in parietal cortex”. J Neurosci, 33(49):19352-19361, 2013. [pdf]
  10. S. Sefati, I. D. Neveln, E. Roth, T. R. T. Mitchell, J. B. Snyder, M. A. MacIver, E. S. Fortune and N. J. Cowan. “Mutually opposing forces during locomotion can eliminate the tradeoff between maneuverability and stability”. PNAS, 110(47):18798-18803, 2013. [pdf] [Supp. pdf]
  11. M. S. Madhav, S. A. Stamper, E. S. Fortune, and N. J. Cowan. “Closed-loop stabilization of the jamming avoidance response reveals its locally unstable and globally nonlinear dynamics”. J Exp Biol, 216:4272-4284, 2013. [pdf]
  12. J. P. Dyhr, K. A. Morgensen, T. L. Daniel, and N. J. Cowan. “Flexible strategies for flight control: an active role for the abdomen”. J Exp Biol, 216:1523-1536, 2013 . [pdf] Highlighted in Inside JEB: “The Abdomen: The Secret to Stabilising Flight”
  13. S. A. Stamper*, M. S. Madhav*, N. J. Cowan, and E. S. Fortune. “Beyond the Jamming Avoidance Response: Weakly electric fish respond to the envelope of social electrosensory signals”. J Exp Biol, 215:4196-4207, 2012 . [pdf] *Contributed equally. Ranked as one of the top 3 publications in 2012 in J Exp Biol. Highlighted in Inside JEB: “Gregarious Electric Fish Adjust to Maintain Social Envelope”
  14. S. A. Stamper, E. Roth, N. J. Cowan, and E. S. Fortune. “Active sensing via movement shapes spatiotemporal patterns of sensory feedback”. J Exp Biol, 215:1567-1574, 2012. [pdf]
  15. N. J. Cowan, E. J. Chastain, D. A. Vilhena, J. S. Freudenberg, and C. T. Bergstrom. “Nodal dynamics, not degree distributions, determine the controllability of complex networks.” PLoS ONE, (7)6:e38398, 2012. [pdf]
  16. E. Roth, K. Zhuang, S. A. Stamper, E. S. Fortune, and N. J. Cowan. “Stimulus predictability mediates a switch in locomotor smooth pursuit performance for Eigenmannia virescens.” Journal of Experimental Biology. 214:1170-1180, 2011. [pdf] [Download cover illustration]
  17. K. B. Reed, A. Majewicz, V. Kallem, R. Alterovitz, K. Goldberg, N. J. Cowan, and A. M. Okamura. “Robot-assisted needle steering.” IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine (RAM), 18(4):35-46, 2011. [pdf]
  18. D. C. Rucker, R. J. Webster III, G. S. Chirikjian, and N. J. Cowan. “Equilibrium conformations of concentric-tube continuum robots.” International Journal of Robotics Research. 29:1263-1280, 2010. [pdf]
  19. V. Kallem, D. E. Chang, and N. J. Cowan. “Task-induced symmetry and reduction with application to needle steering.” IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 55(3):664-673, 2010. [pdf]
  20. K. B. Reed, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. “Modeling and control of needles with torsional friction.” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 56(12):2905-2916, 2009. [pdf]
  21. S. Carver, N. J. Cowan, and J. Guckenheimer. “Lateral stability of the spring-mass hopper suggests a two step control strategy for running.” Chaos, 19(2), 2009. [pdf]
  22. S. G. Carver, T. Kiemel, N. J. Cowan, J. J. Jeka. “Optimal motor control may mask sensory dynamics.” Biological Cybernetics, 101(1):35-42, 2009. [pdf]
  23. V. Kallem and N. J. Cowan. “Image guidance of flexible tip-steerable needles.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 25(1):191-196, 2009. [pdf]
  24. R. J. Webster III, J. M. Romano, and N. J. Cowan. “Mechanics of precurved-tube continuum robots.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 25(1):67-78, 2009. [pdf]
  25. S. Carver, E. Roth, N. J. Cowan, and E. S. Fortune. “Synaptic plasticity can produce and enhance direction selectivity.” Public Library of Science Computational Biology, 4(2):e32 2008. Cover Article for February 2008 issue. [pdf]
  26. J. Lee, S. N. Sponberg, O. Y. Loh, A. G. Lamperski, R. J. Full, and N. J. Cowan. “Templates and anchors for antenna-based wall following in cockroaches and robots.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics (Special Issue on Bio-Robotics), 24(1):130-143, 2008. [pdf]
  27. N. J. Cowan and E. S. Fortune. “The critical role of locomotion mechanics in decoding sensory systems.” Journal of Neuroscience, 27(5):1123-1128, 2007. [pdf]
  28. N. J. Cowan. “Navigation functions on cross product spaces.” IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 52(7):1297–1302, 2007. [pdf]
  29. N. J. Cowan, J. Lee, and R. J. Full. “Task-level control of wall following in the American cockroach.” Journal of Experimental Biology, 209(9):1617-1629, 2006. [pdf] [ Download cover illustration ]
  30. R. J. Webster III, J. S. Kim, N. J. Cowan, G. S. Chirikjian and A. M. Okamura. “Nonholonomic modeling of needle steering.” International Journal of Robotics Research, 25(5-6):509-526, 2006. [pdf]
  31. N. J. Cowan and D. E. Chang. “Geometric visual servoing.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 21(6):1128-1138, 2005. [pdf]
  32. N. J. Cowan, J. Weingarten, and D. E. Koditschek. “Visual servoing via navigation functions.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 18(4):521-533, 2002. [pdf]
    Refereed Conference Publications
  1. S. Sefati, N. J. Cowan, and R. Vidal, “ Learning Shared, Discriminative Dictionaries for Surgical Gesture Segmentation and Classification“. In MICCAI 6th Workshop on Modeling and Monitoring of Computer Assisted Interventions (M2CAI), Munich, Germany, 2015.
  2. I. Uyanik*, M. M. Ankarali*. N. J. Cowan, U. Saranli, O. Morgul, and Hitay Ozbay, “ Independent Estimation of Input and Measurement Delays for a Hybrid Vertical
    Spring-Mass-Damper via Harmonic Transfer Functions
    “. In Proc. IFAC Workshop on Time Delay Systems, Ann Arbor, MI, 2015. *Contributed equally.
  3. I. Uyanik, M. M. Ankarali. N. J. Cowan, U. Saranli, and O. Morgul “ Toward Data-Driven Models of Legged Locomotion using Harmonic Transfer Functions“. In Proc. 17th International Conference on Advanced Robotics, Istanbul, Turkey, 2015.
  4. S. Sefati, N. J. Cowan, and R. Vidal, “ Linear Systems with Sparse Inputs: Observability and Input Recovery“. American Control Conference (ACC), Accepted, Chicago, IL, 2015.
  5. M. M. Ankarali and N. J. Cowan, “ System Identification of Rhythmic Hybrid Dynamical Systems via Discrete Time Harmonic Transfer Functions“. In Proc. Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), Los Angeles, CA, 2014.
  6. A. Lamperski and N. J. Cowan, “ Time-changed linear quadratic regulators“. In Proc. European Control Conference (ECC), Zurich, Switzerland, 2013.
  7. S. G. Carver, E. S. Fortune, and N. J. Cowan, “ State-estimation and cooperative control with uncertain time“. In Proc. American Control Conference (ACC), Washington, DC, 2013.
  8. A. Lamperski and N. J. Cowan, “ Time-changed linear quadratic regulators“. In Proc. European Control Conference (ECC), Zurich, Switzerland, 2013.
  9. E. Roth and M. B. Reiser and M. H. Dickinson and N. J. Cowan. “A task-level model for optomotor yaw regulation in Drosophila melanogaster: a frequency-domain system identification approach“. In Proceedings of the Conference on Decisions and Controls (CDC), Maui, Hawaii, 2012.
  10. J. P. Dyhr, N. J. Cowan, D. J. Colmenares, K. A. Morgansen, and T. L. Daniel. “ Autostabilizing airframe articulation: animal inspired air vehicle control “. In Proceedings of the Conference on Decisions and Controls (CDC), Maui, Hawaii, 2012.
  11. A. Demir, M. M. Ankarali, J. P. Dyhr, K. A. Morgansen, T. L. Daniel, and N. J. Cowan. “ Inertial redirection of thrust forces for flight stabilization “. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR), July 2012, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  12. S. Sefati, I. Neveln, M. A. MacIver, E. S. Fortune and N. J. Cowan. “ Counter-propagating waves enhance maneuverability and stability: a bio-inspired strategy for robotic ribbon-fin propulsion “. IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), Rome, Italy 2012.
  13. J.P. Swensen and N.J. Cowan. “An almost global estimator on SO(3) with measurement on S^2”. American Control Conference, Montreal, Canada, 2012.
  14. J.P. Swensen and N.J. Cowan. “Torsional dynamics compensation enhances robotic control of tip-steerable needles”. International Conference Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Saint Paul, MN, USA, 2012.
  15. V. Kallem, D. E. Chang, and N. J. Cowan. “Observer design for needle steering using task-induced symmetry and reduction”. World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), 2011.
  16. A. Demir, E. W. Samson, and N. J. Cowan. “A tunable physical model of arthropod antennae”. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Anchorage, USA, May 3-8, 2010.
  17. K. B. Reed, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. “Controlling a robotically steered needle in the presence of torsional friction”. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Kobe, Japan, May 12-17, 2009.
  18. K. B. Reed, V. Kallem, R. Alterovitz, K. Goldberg, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. “Integrated planning and image-guided control for planar needle steering” . In Proceedings of IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), Scottsdale, USA 2008. [pdf]
  19. R. J. Webster III, J. M. Romano, and N. J. Cowan. “Kinematics and calibration of active cannulas” . In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Pasadena, CA, USA, May 19-23, 2008.
  20. J. Lee, O. Y. Loh, and N. J. Cowan. “A Hierarchy of neuromechanical and robotic models of antenna-based wall following in cockroaches” . In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), San Diego, CA, USA, Oct 29 – Nov 2, 2007.
  21. V. Kallem, D. E. Chang, and N. J. Cowan. “Task-induced symmetry and reduction in kinematic systems with application to needle steering” . In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), San Diego, CA, USA, Oct 29 – Nov 2, 2007.
  22. V. Kallem, M. Dewan, J. P. Swensen, G. D. Hager, and N. J. Cowan. “Kernel-based visual servoing” . In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), San Diego, CA, USA, Oct 29 – Nov 2, 2007.
  23. V. Kallem, and N. J. Cowan. “Image-guided control of flexible bevel-tip needles” . In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Rome, Italy, 2007.
  24. R. J. Webster, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. “Toward active cannulas: miniature snake-like surgical robots” . In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Beijing, China, 2006.
  25. A. Lamperski, O. Loh, B. Kutscher and N. J. Cowan. “Dynamical wall-following for a wheeled robot using a passive tactile sensor” . In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Barcelona, Spain, 2005.
  26. W. Park, J. S. Kim, Y. Zhou, N. J. Cowan, A. M. Okamura and G. S. Chirikjian. “Diffusion-based motion planning for a nonholonomic flexible needle model” . IEEE Proceedings of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Barcelona, Spain, 2005.
  27. J. Piazzi, D. Prattichizzo and N. J. Cowan. “Auto-epipolar visual servoing” . In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Sendai, Japan, 2004.
  28. J. Piazzi and N. J. Cowan. “Multi-view visual servoing using epipoles” . In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Sendai, Japan, 2004.
  29. N. J. Cowan, O. Shakernia, R. Vidal, S. Sastry. “Vision-based follow-the-leader” . In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Las Vegas, NV, October 2003.
  30. G. Lawrence, N. J. Cowan and S. Russel. Efficient gradient estimation for motor control learning . In Proceedings of the Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), Acapulco, Mexico, 2003.
  31. N. J. Cowan. “Binocular visual servoing with a limited field-of-view” . In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems (MTNS), University of Notre Dame, 2002.
  32. N. J. Cowan, J. D. Weingarten and D. E. Koditschek. “Empircal validation of a new visual servoing strategy” . In Proceedings of the Conference on Control Applications (CCA), Mexico City, Mexico, 2001. IEEE.
  33. N. J. Cowan, G. Lopes and D. E. Koditschek. “Rigid body visual servoing using navigation functions” . In Proceedings of the Conference on Decisions and Controls (CDC), Sydney, Australia, 2000. IEEE. Finalist, Best Student Paper.
  34. N. J. Cowan and D. E. Koditschek. “Planar image based visual servoing as a navigation problem” . In Proceedings of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), volume 1, pages 611-617, Detroit, MI USA, 1999. IEEE. Expanded Technical Report (University of Michigan CGR-99-01) ps, ps.gz.
    Book Chapters
  1. N. J. Cowan, K. Goldberg, G. S. Chirikjian, G. Fichtinger, R. Alterovitz, K. B. Reed, V. Kallem, W. Park, S. Misra, and A. M. Okamura. Robotic needle steering: Design, modeling, planning, and image guidance. In J. Rosen, B. Hannaford, and R. Satava, Eds., Surgical Robotics – Systems, Applications, and Visions, pp. 557-582. Springer, 2011. [pdf]
  2. J. P. Swensen, V. Kallem, N. J. Cowan. Empirical characterization of convergence properties for kernel-based visual servoing. In Visual Servoing via Advanced Numerical Methods, ser. Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences, G. Chesi and K. Hashimoto Eds. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, vol. 401, pp. 22-38, 2010. [pdf]
  3. A. De, J. Lee, N. Keller, and N. J. Cowan. Toward SLAM on graphs. Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics VIII, ser. Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, G. Chirikjian, H. Choset, M. Morales and T. Murphy, Eds. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, vol 57, pp. 631-646, 2010. [pdf]
  4. R. J. Webster, J. P. Swensen, J. M. Romano, N. J. Cowan. Closed-form differential kinematics for concentric-tube continuum robots with application to visual servoing. In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), 54(1), 485-494, 2009. [pdf]
  5. J. Lee, A. Lamperski, J. Schmitt, and N. J. Cowan. Task-Level control of the lateral leg spring model of cockroach locomotion. In Fast Motions in Biomechanics and Robotics: Optimization and Feedback Control, ser. Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences, M. Diehl and K. Mombaur, Eds. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, vol. 340, pp. 167–188, 2006. [pdf]
  6. R. J. Webster, N. J. Cowan, Greg Chirikjian and A. M. Okamura. Nonholonomic modeling of needle steering. In Experimental Robotics IX, vol. 21, pp. 35-44, Tracts in Advanced Robotics, 2006. [pdf]
  7. N. J. Cowan. Composing navigation functions on cartesian products of manifolds with boundary. In Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics VI, 91–106, Spring Tracts in Advanced Robotics, 2005. [pdf]
  8. N. J. Cowan, E. J. Ma, M. Cutkosky and R. J. Full. A biologically inspired passive antenna for steering control of a running robot. In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR), Siena, Italy, 2003. [pdf]
  9. N. J. Cowan and D. E. Chang. Toward geometric visual servoing. In Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Control Problems in Robotics and Automation (CPRA), 2002. [pdf] Expanded technical report version: [UCB/CSD 02-1200].
    Other
  1. S. A. Stamper, S. Sefati, and N. J. Cowan, “Snake robot uncovers secrets to sidewinders’ maneuverability” Commentary Article, PNAS, Early Edition, 2015.
  2. M. Madhav, R. Nickl, “Mimicry or Scrutiny? Striking a Partnership Between Engineering Design and Biological Research” in Potentials, IEEE , vol.34, no.2, pp.26,32, March-April 2015.
  3. M. D. M. Kutzer, E. W. Tunstel Jr., C. Y. Brown, D. Vahdat, J. E. Clark, N. J. Cowan, and M. Armand. “Morphable limbs for multi-legged climbing on convex structures” in Johns Hopkins APL Tech. Dig.: Autonomous Systems, 32(3), 2013.
  4. E. S. Fortune and N. J. Cowan. Breed, M. D. and Moore, J. (ed.). “Robot behavior” in Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Academic Press, Oxford, 2010.
    Theses
  1. M. M. Ankarali. “Variability, Symmetry, and Dynamics in Human Rhythmic Motor Control”. Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2015.
  2. A. Demir. “Bio-inspired antennal tactile sensing”. Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2014.
  3. S. Sefati. “Modeling complex biological and mechanical movements: Applications to animal locomotion and gesture classification in robotic surgery”. Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2014.
  4. M. Madhav. “Nonlinear processing of sensory interference drives social behavior in weakly electric fish”. Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2014.
  5. S. Stamper. “Making sense: weakly electric fish modulate sensory feedback via social behavior and movement” . Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2012.
  6. E. Roth. “Task-level models for image-stabilization behaviors in animals” . Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2012.
  7. J. P. Swensen. “Torsional dynamics and rotational estimation of tip-steerable needles” . Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2011.
  8. A. De. “Neuromechanical control of paddle juggling” . Masters thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2010.
  9. A. Demir. “A modular, tunable tactile antenna for exploring the mechanics of sensing”. Master’s thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2009.
  10. J. Lee. “Identifying feedback control strategies of running cockroaches and humans” . Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2009.
  11. V. Kallem. “Vision-based control on Lie groups with application to needle steering” . Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 2008.
  12. R. J. Webster, III. “Design and mechanics of continuum robotics for surgery” . Doctoral thesis, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2007.
  13. N. J. Cowan. Vision-based control via navigation functions. Doctoral thesis, University of Michigan. 2001.
  14. N. J. Cowan. Control of the period and duty Cycle of the Morris-Lecar burst signal generator model. Undergraduate thesis, Ohio State University, 1995.