The webinar was jointly organised by IAS and the Graduate Students' Clubs of EEE, MAE and MSE. Prof Arindam Basu’s talk was an enriching experience for the attendees who caught a glimpse of science fiction coming closer to reality. He presented research done in developing self-healing and self-repairing robots. As he shared during the talk, the research had just passed its infancy, and there is a lot of scope for developing new materials and sensors that can be applied to the robots of tomorrow, which won’t need human intervention to repair and heal themselves, and will be able to detect harmful stimulus and prevent damage to themselves.
While the theory and principles of the research were enough to kindle the curiosity of the attendees, the demonstration of the work done was even more surprising and mesmerising. Watching the robotic arm learn “pain” simulated in the form of pressure applied onto a sensor on the arm and then autonomously retracting itself the next time it detected the stimulus was a brilliant proof of concept displaying avoidance reflex.
Another interesting part of the webinar was about the self-healing skin developed by a team from MSE, that could one day go on top of a robot. The research being multi-disciplinary, the talk also catered to a multi-disciplinary audience of students from MSE, MAE and EEE schools etc who showed up in big numbers. All the attendees had thoughtful take-aways and something to consider as a research avenue in the future.
Shantanu Raoke | EEE Graduate Students’ Club