Katherine Kuchenbecker: The technology of touch
Katherine Kuchenbecker - Mechanical engineer
Katherine Kuchenbecker works on incorporating the sense of touch directly into virtual objects. Imagine being able to feel textures on your digital screens. Full bio
the beautiful and interesting things
is really important.
interaction you do every day,
anything you do in the world.
is actually pretty interesting.
of your body and how it's moving,
you have with the world
is it a bunny, what is it?
for how good people are with their hands.
make technology better
with the sense of touch.
to computers and machines
advantage of your hands?
of a field called haptics,
that can measure that motion,
sensations over time
in the real world,
you're touching something
from research in my lab at Penn.
problem that I was showing you:
how hard you're pushing;
exactly where you've moved it;
an accelerometer, inside,
back and forth of the tool
that's a piece of canvas
from these interactions.
get larger and smaller,
model of those relationships
in the white bracket
back and forth, on the real canvas.
and it's really a lot of fun.
benefits in all sorts of areas
maybe interactive museum exhibits,
to touch the precious artifacts,
about comes from a collaboration I have
at the Penn Dental School.
there are cavities.
comes from what they feel
with a dental explorer.
they go across.
is really hard, then it's healthy,
is starting to decay.
for a new dental student to make,
a lot of teeth yet.
before they start practicing
on to the dental explorer,
but also a touch track,
that repeating tool.
felt when they did the recording,
kind of suspicious, right?
definitely put a filling in this tooth."
are hard and healthy,
of judgments doctors make every day
we've invented has a lot of potential
training, because it's really simple
what people feel through tools.
more interactive and fun
in the sensations that you feel.
is again about human movement.
at something like surfing?
maybe getting some input from a coach,
more efficient and more fun.
if I have six different arm movements
and try out our system.
we show graphics on the screen,
which have motors inside,
your arm is a little too high --
right there on the skin
these movements more quickly
for use in stroke rehabilitation,
or all sorts of sports training as well.
about the field of haptics,
about in the coming years.
who work with me in my lab at Penn
for your kind attention.
About the speaker:Katherine Kuchenbecker - Mechanical engineer
Katherine Kuchenbecker works on incorporating the sense of touch directly into virtual objects. Imagine being able to feel textures on your digital screens.
Why you should listen
Could technology be more touchy feely? Mechanical engineer Katherine Kuchenbecker answers this question with a resounding ‘yes.’ Kuchenbecker researches the design, control and performance of robotic systems that enable a user to touch virtual objects and distant environments as though they were real and within reach. These interfaces combine electromechanical sensors, actuators and computer control, allowing for technology that can fool the human sense of touch, otherwise known as ‘haptics.’
Imagine a tablet computer that lets you feel fabrics and textures, robotic surgical tools that let doctors use their incredibly well-honed sense of touch, video games that allow you to feel hits and computer programs that teach you the movements of a sport. By researching these areas -- as well as applications in stroke rehabilitation and assistance for the blind -- Kuchenbecker seeks to improve our understanding of touch and uncover new opportunities to use it in interactions between humans, computers and machines.
An assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Kuchenbecker has been named to the Popular Science Brilliant 10. She is also an avid photographer, and played volleyball at Stanford for two seasons.
Katherine Kuchenbecker | Speaker | TED.com