Richard is Professor of Comparative Biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College, London. Part biologist, part engineer, he investigates animal movement. Richard works on questions of fundamental biology and also a wide variety of bio-inspired engineering projects with direct application to robotics, aerospace, AI, insect vector control and animation.
Richard’s research group uses large and specialist arenas with multiple high-speed cameras for recording photogrammetry and motion capture data, fluid and structural measurements and simulations, and wind tunnel testing. He has worked most extensively on the processes required for successful flight in insects and birds, and the anatomy and sensory processing mechanisms that have evolved to enable it. More recently, he has used photogrammetry to measure birds of prey as they cope with gusty conditions and reduce aerodynamic drag with their tails, and convex hull reconstruction (aka voxel carving) to measure the extreme flight performance of insects. Insights have been patented and ported to drones to solve tasks such as gust tolerance and collision avoidance.
Richard has served on a number of NATO Technical Panels and also on the advisory board of The Program for Preserving the Natural World, Inc. In recent years he has held the positions of Vice Principal for Research, and Associate Dean for Research at the Royal Veterinary College.