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Integrated Biomorphic Information Systems Lab


Our vision is to understand interactions among communication and computing and the physical world in which we live for example, how to build efficient physical systems and how to adapt engineering lessons from biological systems. To accomplish these goals, we are developing hybrid bioelectronic systems, incorporating principles of adaptation into electronic systems, and working to understand performance-resource tradeoffs in biology and microelectronics. This research aims to create new hardware for sensing, computing, and communicating under severe resource constraints particularly for applications in miniature and autonomous robots.

Research focus

Single-chip motion sensor for autonomous navigation based on wide field integration of optic flow

Sensors for autonomous mobile microrobots

Event-based communication and computation infrastructure for microrobots

Adaptive integrated circuits

Neuromorphic circuits

Low-power analog and digital circuit design

Cell-based sensing, including Nose-on-a-Chip olfactory sensors

Microfluidic techniques for sample preparation

CMOS-based optical sensors for low light (photon counting)

CMOS image sensors


Information-power tradeoffs in biological and engineered systems

Any innovative research that will help create ultra-efficient sensing, computing, and communicating systems!


The Integrated Biomorphic Information Systems Laboratory (IBIS) is dedicated to the understanding of information processing in microelectronic and biological systems and to developing efficient integrated microelectronics systems for real-time dynamic tasks. The laboratory occupies approximately 800 square feet within the Institute for Systems Research. The IBIS lab houses an RF enclosure for sensitive electronic measurements and characterization under conditions of significantly attenuated ambient RF noise. IBIS facilities include a variety of electronic test and measurement equipment along with computers and CAD tools necessary to design integrated circuits and printed circuit boards.

Workstations for CAD design

PC workstations for instrument control and data acquisition

VLSI testing stations

Keithley high resolution electrometers and source measure units

Tektronix digital oscilloscopes

Nikon stereoscopes (2)

Agilent network analyzer

HP semiconductor parameter analyzers (3)

High speed logic analyzer and function generator

Optoelectronic test equipment including monochromators and integrating sphere

Physiology equipment including pipette puller, patch clamp amplifier, Faraday cage, and micromanipulator

Mech-El wire bonding station

Olympus compound microscope with long working distance objectives

Zeiss Axiotron compound microscope with long working distance objectives

RK Ultracision 680 probe station

Tektronix and Agilent arbitrary function generators

Barnstead Intl. incubator for cell culture

IPG Photonics YLD-1 fiber laser

Fisher hot plate

Variety of National Instruments data acquisition cards

General electronics and optoelectronic lab supplies

CAD tools including Analog, OrCAD Pspice, Cadence ICFB, Tanner Tools

Software for data acquisition and instrument control including LabView, Matlab, and C

In addition, we take advantage of the UMd FabLab a professionally staffed class 1000 cleanroom located in the new interdisciplinary Jeong H. Kim Engineering building. This facility includes microlithography, deposition and etching equipment in addition to tools for characterizing and measuring fabricated devices.

More information

Visit the lab website

Dr. Pamela Abshire, Director
Rm 2160 A. V. Williams Bldg.

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