TEDxStanford speaker Allison Okamu experiments with a haptic-enhanced medical device (Photo: MedicineWorld.org)
We all know the sense of touch is important. So what do we do when it’s gone? When soldiers use mine-deactivating robots, when doctors operate surgical robots, their sense of touch is lost to these devices. How do you tie a suture tight, but not so tight that it breaks when you can’t feel the give and take of the thread? How do you know how much pressure to apply to a material when you cannot feel the material’s reaction?
You go by sight. But sight only gives you so much, says Stanford University researcher Allison Okamura. In her talk at TEDxStanford, Okamura explains how she and her team at the CHARM (Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine) Lab are working to create devices that can not just register touch from a user, but also can simulate touch in return.
"We try to come up with [clever] techniques to fool the user into feeling something that isn’t really there," she says in her talk. This becomes particularly useful when dealing with the medical world, where human-controlled robots are often used to make surgical procedures less invasive and more accurate. “They [surgical robots] are not autonomous robots,” Allison says. “It is important because of the dangerousness and complexity of these tasks that there be a human in the loop. But the human can do a better job if they get the sense of touch feedback.”
So, Allison and her team at CHARM stay hard at work developing devices that do just that. Watch her talk below to learn more about CHARM’s work and see some of these robots in action:
Julia faces off with a swordfish (via pbs-food)
“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and, above all, have fun!”
― Julia Child, My Life in France
It’s hard to deny Julia Child’s vast contributions the world of gastronomy. The charismatic, colorful Californian-turned-Francophone-turned-chef-turned-PBS-host introduced a world of readers and TV viewers to classical French cooking, inspired an infamous Saturday Night Live sketch, wrote a memoir and scores of cookbooks, all while seemingly having a whole lot of fun. To honor what would have been The French Chef's 101st birthday, we bring you 3 very appetizing TEDx Talks from food lovers of all kinds.
Writing with Julia: Alex Prud’homme at TEDxMiddlebury
Alex Prud’homme is the great nephew of Julia Child, and the person who persuaded her into (and helped with) writing her famed memoir, My Life in France, the base material for half of the recent film, Julie and Julia. Enjoy this wonderful tribute to the French Chef from Prud’homme, whose affectionate impressions of her famous voice and tales of telling her story are sure to please.
The reach of a restaurant: Thomas Keller at TEDxEast
Thomas Keller, another Gallophile chef, gave this passionate talk at TEDxEast on the beauty of culinary arts. Like Julia, he speaks ardently of the experience of cooking and eating — something that he feels leave impressions in chefs’ and diners’ lives forever. Look for him the next time you watch the Pixar filmRatatouille, in which he can be seen dining in Paris.
Creativity in cooking can solve our biggest problems: José Andrés at TEDxMidAtlantic
José Andrés is a chef who believes in the power of creativity. In this rousing talk at TEDxMidAtlantic, he discusses how stepping out of your comfort zone can be the first step in landing onto a new creation and discovering solutions to problems you didn’t know you could solve. Don’t watch this talk hungry, because the video of José’s team making liquid-nitrogen-almond-ice-cream-bowls topped with blue cheese mousse might drive you crazy.