Yesterday I gave a talk about incorporating soft robotics, compliant mechanisms, and biomimetic structures into your engineering toolbox at NYU. I’ve been interested in how compliant mechanisms can reduce the computational complexity of tasks like manipulation and locomotion and this talk was a good opportunity to share some of my ideas on the subject.
The general thesis is that biology presents a huge trove of solutions to problems in robotics especially directed at optimizing the amount of sensing you’re devoting to understanding an environment and the amount of computation you’re devoting to navigating that environment. Compliance is an essential tool for creating systems that reduce a wide range of potential inputs into a simplified space of positive outputs.
Case in point:
You can find my slides here. If an audio/video copy becomes available I will update this post with a link.
I spoke at the NYC NASA SpaceApps conference last weekend about how soft robots might end up in space in the next few years. I covered mechanical counterpressure suits, exercise on the International Space Station, enhancing strength on EVA’s, and how space turns your heart into a sphere. Stick around for the Q&A segment at the end, where I get to field some questions from real-life astronaut Catherine Coleman.
You can see my slides here.
Cover image by ZEISS Microscopy.
Some months back I gave the closing keynote at QuahogCon. It was an overview of the digital manufacture techniques available today focusing on 3d printing. I gave detailed information on how to interface with them, what properties different techniques impart, and how to generate geometry.
You can find an audio recording of the presentation here. You can also download my resources (containing links to artists, 3d printing companies, software tools, and awesome projects) here. You can also find my presentation’s visuals on Prezi.