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​Allison Okamura: Exploring the next big thing in modern robotics

​Stanford’s Russ Altman and Allison Okamura discuss how touch, long one of the most overlooked of the five senses in engineering, is the next frontier in robotics.

robot and human hands illustration

Illustration by Stefani Billings

As a bioengineer, Russ Altman has long marveled at intersection of biology and engineering that is modern robotics. Recently, he found himself wondering: what’s the next big thing in this intriguing field?

Mechanical engineer Allison Okamura says that robots that incorporate the sense of touch — either to understand the world around them or to provide better feedback to humans — are stretching boundaries in a variety of areas, including in operating rooms and disaster zones.

You can listen to the Future of Everything on iTunes, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher or via Stanford Engineering Magazine.