Outreach

Elementary School Outreach

NSF_LogoThe elementary school outreach activities below were supported by the National Science Foundation. Some activities require specialized equipment (to be provided by a research lab) while others purposely use low-cost materials to facilitate accessibility.  Feel free to download these materials and adapt them to your outreach events. Suggestions on how these activities can be improved, may be emailed to Dr. Veronica Santos (VJSANTOS [AT – no spam] ucla.edu).

Slides

Brief, video-filled presentation to provide an overview of robotics applications to an elementary school audience.

  • PDF summary
  • ZIP file containing PPT slides and linked videos 

Activity instructions

Suggested topics/stations for classes or smaller groups of students

  • Robot hands
  • Tactile sensing
  • Make-a-finger
  • Dream your own robot
  • Prosthetic hands and arms
  • Robot hand/arm coordination

Sample itineraries

  • For visiting 2nd graders
    • Robot hands
    • Tactile sensing
    • Make-a-finger
    • Design, draw, and describe your own robot
  • For visiting 4th graders
    • Robot hands and arms
    • Prosthetic hands
    • Make-a-finger (individual), Make-a-gripper (team-based)

Educational videos

STEM Journals screen shotThe Biomechatronics Lab was featured in a biomechanics episode of a television show called STEM Journals, produced by David Routt and hosted by former Meteorite Men host Geoff Notkin. The 6 min. segment on the Biomechatronics Lab can also be found here.

 

 


The Biomechatronics Lab was featured in a two-part neuroprosthetics segment on PBS NewsHour with science and technology correspondent Miles O’Brien. Part 1: “Man and Machine” features advances in prosthetic arm technology and control methods while Part 2: “Science of Touch” (below) features advances in peripheral nerve interfaces and the development of artificial haptic intelligence. Both parts were edited by Kate Tobin. Our lab’s segment features research conducted with robot hand and arm technology from Barrett Technology, multimodal tactile sensor technology from SynTouch, and our custom BairClaw robot hand testbed.


The Biomechatronics Lab was featured in two Voice of America video reports: a Spanish language report on “El futuro de los robots táctiles” and an expanded English report on “More than a Feeling, Robots Developing Sense of Touch.” Kenneth Gutierrez demonstrates his work on haptic perception through handheld objects. Cheng-Ju Wu demonstrates our sensorized BairClaw robot hand testbed.


The Biomechatronics Lab was featured in a National Science Foundation Science Nation video titled, “Giving robots and prostheses the human touch,” as part of National Robotics Week. The video was hosted by PBS NewsHour science and technology correspondent Miles O’Brien and edited by Kate Tobin. Our lab’s video clips feature research conducted with robot hand and arm technology from Barrett Technology, multimodal tactile sensor technology from SynTouch, and our custom BairClaw robot hand testbed. Special thanks to Dr. Paul Marasco and Beth Orzell, CPO from the Cleveland Clinic for reproducing their “bypass prosthesis” design for the body-powered split-hook for our lab!


The Biomechatronics Lab was featured in a National Science Foundation video titled, “Generation Robot,” to mark five years of multi-agency National Robotics Initiative (NRI) efforts to “accelerate the research, development and use of robots that work beside or cooperatively with people.” The lab’s video clips begin at 2:59 and were excerpted from an NSF Science Nation video hosted by PBS NewsHour science and technology correspondent Miles O’Brien and edited by Kate Tobin.