Glowing red optical fibers.
Glowing red optical fibers.

Can Robots Feel? With Robert Shepherd and Ilayda Samilgil

Tyler Nienhouse, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

Can you give a robot a sense of touch? On the episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly, learn about soft robotics, sensors, and data collection to help understand human physiology with mechanical engineering professor, Robert Shepherd and co-founder of Organic Robotics Corp, Ilayda Samilgil.

We explore materials science and how soft robotics work. How do you create a robot that responds to feedback from the outside world? How do you interpret touch and translate it? Discover fiber optics and their applications. We break down the eternal question: why doesn’t a giraffe’s head explode when it leans down?

Learn about how fiber optics are being used as a diagnostic tool. Could fiber optic sensors help you train? We hear about the NFL 1st and Future award given to Light Lace, the importance of sampling, and creating tech for performance. What is photoplethysmography? Are we closer to creating a tricorder from Star Trek? We discuss the future of wearable technology and how fiber optics could replace high speed cameras. How fast does a pitcher’s arm accelerate?

Can you gather enough data to know when a player is going to get injured? Are our muscle memories imperfect? We explore other applications of fiber optic sensors: could you use fiber optic wearable technology in virtual reality? Learn about Rob’s soft aquatic robot and the idea behind creating robot blood. Is this biomimicry or more than that?

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In This Episode

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