Veronica Santos, Ph.D.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MECHANICAL & AEROSPACE ENGINEERING and DIRECTOR of the UCLA Biomechatronics Laboratory
Students who see something happen to their family, close friends or even to themselves – it inspires them to make quality of life better for other people.
A robot is a tangible way to help. You can see a wheelchair-mounted robot arm helping someone, or a cyborg-like prosthesis. Learning by doing may be the way to get robots to tackle all sorts of complicated tasks. The crux is embodiment, or the robot’s awareness that each of its actions brings an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of sensations.
In my lab, we have high school students learning from undergrads learning from graduate students learning from postdocs. I view it as a whole pipeline – high school all the way to postdocs.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ENGINEER CHANGE?
Professor Veronica Santos and her research team are improving the functionality of artificial hands by endowing robots with the sense of touch.