SciTech Now Episode 20

Episode twenty of SciTech Now brings you the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. We contemplate mass extinction and meet a new wave of robots that looks remarkably lifelike.

TRANSCRIPT

> COMING UP, OPENING UP TH DIGITAL UNIVERSE

YOU CAN'T DO THIS BY HAND RIGHT?

THE DATA IS ALL THE KNOW UNIVERSE YOU CAN'T CRUNCH THOSE NUMBERS IN EXCEL

3D PRINTING HITS TH CLASSROOM.

ANYTHING YOU COME UP WITH AND DREAM UP, YOU CAN HAVE IN YOUR HANDS.

WHAT TO BE THE PLANET'S NEX MASS EXTINCTION.

LOOKING AT 7.5, 9 BILLION PEOPLE, WHO COULD REALLY SUFFE A LOT OF CONSEQUENCES.

ROBOTS JUST LIKE US AND COCKROACHES.

WE'VE DESIGNED A ROBOT BASE ON THE ABILITY TO BASICALL CLIMB OVER AND UNDER ANYTHING.

IT'S ALL AHEAD.

> FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM I MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.

HELLO, WELCOME TO 'SCITEC NOW,' OUR WEEKLY PROGRAM BRINGING YOU THE LATES BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION LET'S GET STARTED.

EACH YEAR, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD PARTICIPATE I HACK-A-THON.

THIS ISN'T THE TYPE OF HACKING THAT CRACKS FIRE WALLS AND SHUTS DOWN WEBSITES, THESE EVENTS DRAW FROM DIFFERENT FIELDS.

OUR REPORTER WENT TO A ALL-NIGHT HACK A THON WHER PARTICIPANTS EXPLORED TH DIGITAL UNIVERSE

SO, OUR PROJECT IS BASICALL BUILDING A WEBSITE WHERE THE USER COULD LOG ON TO AND NAME PLANET

OUR PLANET EARTH, MORE PEOPLE WITH THINGS IN THE UNIVERSE, THE GALAXY

PROGRAMMERS, DEVELOPERS, AN ASTRO PHYSICISTS HAVE STARS IN THEIR EYES AS THEY BRAINSTORME FOR HACK THE UNIVERSE, A 24-HOUR HACK-A-THON AT THE AMERICA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY.

A HACK-A-THON IS, HOW T DESCRIBE THIS?

IT COULD BE ANYWHERE FROM 12 T 72 HOURS, BUT IT'S, I GUESS IN ITS CRUX, IT'S A TIME WHERE GROUP OF DEVELOPERS, DESIGNERS CONTENT EXPERTS, FOCUS O PARTICULAR PROBLEM OR SET OF CHALLENGES TO BUILD SOMETHIN FROM SCRATCH

HACKERS MAY CREATE FU PROJECTS THAT HAVE LITTL PRACTICAL USE, OR THEY MAY COM UP WITH THE NEXT BIG STARTUP EITHER WAY, WHEN TIME'S UP TEAMS MUST PRESENT WHAT THEY'V COME UP WITH, NO MATTER WHAT FORM IT'S IN

IT MIGHT BE WIRE FRAMES AND MOCK-UPS, MIGHT BE SOMETHING FULLY CODED BUT DECIDE NOT T WORK IN THAT MOMENT THAT ABSOLUTELY WILL HAPPEN GUARANTEED, THEN SOMETIMES YOU'RE REALLY SURPRISED AND COME UP WITH SOMETHING FULLY FORMED THAT COULD END UP INSPIRING TH NEXT THING THAT A COMPANY WANT TO BUILD OR ORGANIZATION WANTS TO TAKE ON

IT STARTED IN 1999 AND SINC THEN THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAV PARTICIPATED IN THESE EVENTS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD FOCUSING ON TOPICS FROM CYBE SECURITY, TO EDUCATION, TO THE UNIVERSE

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BROUGHT ABOUT BIG TELESCOPES BUT THE COMPUTER REVOLUTIO REALLY BROUGHT THIS INFORMATIO REVOLUTION THAT CONTINUES TO BIGGER AND BIGGER INCREASES IN COMPUTER SPEEDS THAT ALLOWS US TO REALLY PROCESS AND THEN DISPLAY THE DATA

THE COUNTLESS HACK-A-THON HELD AROUND THE WORLD OFTE CREATE APPS OR TACKLE BUSINESS OR SOCIAL PROBLEMS, BUT TH PROGRAMMING IS ALSO A NECESSAR TOOL FOR AGE-OLD SCIENTIFI FIELDS

THESE DATA FITS ARE HUGE.

ASTRO PHYSICISTS MAKE THE MOST SENSE TO HAVE COMPUTER SCIENCE INVOLVED YOU CAN'T DO THIS BY HAND, RIGHT, THE DATA OF ALL OF TH KNOWN UNIVERSE YOU CAN'T CRUNCH THOSE NUMBERS IN EXCEL

I'M MOST INTERESTED IN THES DAYS IS THE MORE WHIMSICAL ONES, PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN SUBJECT MATTER AND YOU HAVE A COOL ENVIRONMENT LIKE THIS.

BEFORE ANY HACKING BEGINS TEAMS ARE GIVEN THE MUSEUM'S DATA ON THE UNIVERSE IT'S THE SAME INFORMATION, MEASUREMENTS, DISTANCES, THA CARTER EMMERT USES TO CREATE A VIRTUAL MAP AND 3D TOUR OF OUR UNIVERSE

WE'RE GOING TO PRESENT OU DIGITAL UNIVERSE, WHICH IS THI DATA SET THAT BRINGS TOGETHE THE DIFFERENT SET OF OBJECTS THAT MAKE UP OUR GALAXY.

IT'S A BIT LIKE DIVING INTO TH UNKNOWN, BUT THAT'S WHAT'S EXCITING ABOUT A HACK-A-THON

HACKER TEAMS ARE DIVERSE, S A PROGRAMMER'S CODING SKILLS ARE BALANCED WITH AN ASTRO PHYSICIST OR OTHER SO-CALLED CONTENT EXPERT

I WORK WITH A LOT OF NUMBERS.

STEP BACK INTO THE COMPUTING WORLD.

I DON'T GET TO DO IT THAT OFTEN.

AMONG THE SKILLS IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF DIVERSITY.

WE HAVE SOME STUDENTS, WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN CODING ONLY A FEW MONTHS AND THIS MAY BE ONE OF THEIR FIRS HACK-A-THONS, TO PRETTY SENIOR LEVEL PEOPLE WHO THIS IS WHA THEY DO FOR FUN.

AND WOMEN THERE'S NO DATA ON WOMEN'S AVERAGE PARTICIPATION AT HACK-A-THONS, BUT IT'S ESTIMATED ABOUT 10% TO 15% AT THIS HACK THE UNIVERSE EVENT, THE RATIO WAS 50/50.

CHRISTINA WALLACE, FOUNDIN DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM'S BRIDG UP STEM PROGRAM SAYS THE GOAL IS TO DRAW YOUNG WOMEN INTO SCIENCE AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY.

PROGRAMS ARE GEARED TOWARDS ATTRACTING MORE WOMEN, THEY DO WORK, BECAUSE THEY CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT'S SAFE FO WOMEN AND ACTUALLY HAS A REA GENUINE CARE ABOUT THEM.

THE TURNOUT VALIDATED THE INITIATIVE, WHICH INCLUDES PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS TO MAJOR IN COMPUTER SCIENCE, BRING CODING INTO UNDERSERVED MIDDLE SCHOOLS, AND HELP TEACHERS GET UP T SPEED WITH PROFESSIONA DEVELOPMENT.

THIS PROGRAM IS REALL FOCUSED ON ACCESS, WHICH IS ON OF THE MUSEUM'S MOST IMPORTANT THRUSTS, AND IT'S ACCESS FOR YOUNG WOMEN AND TRAINING FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN THIS FIELD, BUT ALSO FOR UNDERREPRESENTED YOUTH, GENERALLY.

WHEN I FIRST TOLD PEOPLE WAS COMING TO BUILD BRIDGE-U STEM, THEIR FIRST REACTION WAS ALWAYS, WHY IS A MUSEUM WITH DINOSAURS TEACHING COMPUTE SCIENCE, AND WHEN YOU PUT IT THAT WAY, IT MIGHT SEE DISCONNECTED, BUT WHEN YOU DIG DEEPER AND REALIZE HOW MUC SCIENCE ACTUALLY GOES ON HERE, THAT WE HAVE TENURED CURATOR THAT ARE DOING RESEARCH ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF THEIR FIELD, AND NOT JUST IN DINOSAURS AN PALEONTOLOGY, BUT BIOLOGY, ASTROPHYSICS, AND THESE DATA SETS ARE HUGE.

AND THAT'S WHY THE TEAM SPENT ALL NIGHT, FUELLED BY PIZZA AN ENTHUSIASM, HACKING AWAY AT VAST AMOUNTS OF DATA IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE SOMETHING USEFUL AN ACCESSFUL FROM SOMETHING SO DARK AND DISTANT.

IT IS A REPRESENTATION, BUT IT'S DEEPER THAN THAT.

IT DOES REPRESENT THIS TREMENDOUS EFFORT BY SCIENCE WHICH IS INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTS EVERYONE IN THE WORLD THAT PUTS THIS TOGETHER.

♪♪

> THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS TAKING TO THE CLASSROOM TO CREATE A BETTER PIPELINE FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CAREERS.

REPORTER MICHAEL HILL SHOWS US HOW TRAINING TEACHERS ON NEW TECHNOLOGIES MAY BE A KEY TO ENGAGING STUDENTS IN STEM.

WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WOUL HAVE A WORKSHOP TO TEACH THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF 3D PRINTING TO A GROUP OF TEACHERS?

IT IS EXCITING.

IT'S EXCITING FOR THE TEACHERS IT'S EXCITING FOR STUDENTS

MADELINE TEACHES BIOLOGY AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AT HIG POINT REGIONAL HIGH IN SUSSE COUNTY SHE'S ONE OF NEARLY TWO DOZE TEACHERS WHO HAVE COME TO FINE TUNE OR LEARN FROM SCRATCH HOW TO 3D PRINT.

WE'RE TRYING TO TEACH PEOPL HOW TO USE IT, BECAUSE IT SEEM NEW AND BIG AND SCARY, AND OUR GOAL IS TO ENABLE ALL THE PEOPLE TO FEEL THEY CAN JUMP IN, STAR PRINTING AND MAKING COOL STUFF

HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?

YOU MAKE A DESIGN ON THE COMPUTER, SEND IT TO THE PRINTER, AND LOAD THE MATERIALS.

WHAT A 3D PRINTER DOES, I HAS A PLATE, AND IT KIND O EXTRUDES OUT THE PLASTIC FILAMENT AND WORKS JUST LIKE A HOT GLUE GUN SHOOTS FILAMENT OUT, BUILDS UP LAYERS, KEEPS GOING UNTIL YO HAVE THIS 3D OBJECT.

AS IN THIS POOL OF FILAMENT BECOMING A PROJECT FOR A COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ARCHITECTURE TEACHER A BLOOMFIELD HIGH.

I TELL ALL THE KIDS, ANYTHING YOU CAN COME UP WITH, ANYTHING YOU CAN DREAM OF, YOU CAN HAVE AND HOLD IN YOUR HANDS

A FEW YEARS AGO, TH DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REALIZED AMERICA WAS FACING A MAJOR SHORTAGE OF ENGINEERS AN SCIENTISTS D.O.D. DECIDED IT COULD MAKE SURE TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM HAD THE TECHNOLOGICAL KNOW HOW TO INSPIRE THEIR STUDENTS.

IT'S A FEAR FOR ME, BECAUSE WE REALLY NEED TO STAY TECHNOLOGY ADVANCED IN ALL O OUR AREAS FOR AMERICANS TO STA COMPETITIVE.

IT WON'T MATTER IF YOU'RE GOING TO OPEN A FLOWER SHOP, YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO DO IT WITHOUT A TECHNOLOGICAL BACKGROUND

THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR A LONG TIME I THINK IT'S NOT ONLY GOING TO DRAW MORE KIDS IN, BUT I THINK IT'S GOING TO FINELY TUNE THEI SKILLS, BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN INDOCTRINATED INTO A TELEPHONE MENTALITY AND THEY ARE ALWAY PLAYING WITH THEIR CELL PHONES AND ALWAYS USING THEIR CEL PHONES, THEY ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING MORE AND THAT'S WHAT 3D PRINTING DOES

A MECHANICAL HAND IN ON CASE, A SMALL VILLAGE OF HOUSE IN CHINA

WE'RE TRYING TO GET THIS IN THE HANDS OF EVERYBODY SO THEY CAN LET THEM DEFINE THE LIMITS

ALREADY MAKES SOME OF THE EQUIPMENT SHE USES IN CLAS INSTEAD OF BUYING IT, SAVING THE DISTRICT MONEY

I'M GOING TO TELL THE KID WHAT WE CAN DO WITH THIS AND THAT WILL GET THEM HOOKED, AND HOPEFULLY, IT WILL EXTEND BEYOND JUST AN INTEREST

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WANTS.

♪♪

> MANY SCIENTISTS ARGUE THAT OUR PLANET IS CURRENTLY IN THE MIDST OF ITS SIXTH MAS EXTINCTION OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS, MEANING THAT NEARLY HALF OF ALL SPECIES COUL DISAPPEAR IN THE NEXT FE DECADES.

THERE ARE MANY FACTORS AT PLAY INCLUDING CLIMATE CHANGE POLLUTION, OVERHARVESTING, ALL OF WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE IMPOVERISHMENT OF ECOSYSTEMS AND BIODIVERSITY LAWS.

JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT THIS TREND, DIRECTOR OF SCIENC AT THE EARTH INSTITUTE CENTE FOR SUSTAINABILITY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FIRST OF ALL, MASS EXTINCTIO SOUNDS INCREDIBLY SCARY, AND I'M THINKING, IT IS.

IT IS IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE, SO I THINK WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENED BEFORE PEOPLE TEND TO THINK, WELL MAYBE IT WON'T BE SO BAD, WE'V GOTTEN THROUGH FIVE OF THEM, AFTER ALL, SO THE SIXTH ONE.

THERE'S SOME TRUTH TO THAT THE PROBLEM OF THAT, IS WE'R THE MIDDLE OF THIS ONE AND ALS THE CAUSE OF THAT.

HUMANS WEREN'T AROUND FOR ALL FIVE OF THE PREVIOUS ONES, RIGHT?

RIGHT I THINK THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM, IS THAT MAYBE IF THER WERE FEWER NUMBERS OF PEOPLE LIVING ON THE PLANET, TH ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES O LOSING THE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSIT WOULDN'T BE SO HALF.

LOOKING AT 7.5, MAYBE 9 BILLIO PEOPLE, WHO COULD REALLY SUFFE CONSEQUENCES

SO WHAT ARE THE BILLIONS OF PEOPLE THAT ARE ON THE PLANE DOING TODAY TO HURRY THIS MASS EXTINCTION ALONG

SO, I THINK MUCH OF WHAT' HAPPENING IS SOMETHING THA ISN'T -- THERE'S A LOT OF EFFORT TO CONSERVE SPECIES AND PROTEC ENDANGERED HABITATS.

I THINK THE FOCUS TENDS TO COM FROM THE IDEA THAT SORT OF A CULTURAL OR EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT WE HAVE, BUT WHAT THAT CREATES IS A SENSE IF WE HAVE PROTECTE AREAS AND PARKS OR NATIONA FORESTS, THAT WILL DO THE TRICK, BECAUSE WE CAN SAVE ALL TH SPECIES, MUCH AS IF YOU FELT I YOU PUT THEM IN AN ARK, BU BIODIVERSITY EXISTS ALL TH SPECIES, THINGS LIKE WATER BREATHABLE AIR, RECYCLING OF NUTRIENTS, FOOD, ALL OF THAT DEPENDS ON ALL OF THESE PART WORKING TOGETHER IF THERE ARE 8.7 MILLION PARTS THAT ARE MAKING OUR EARTH WORK AND WE'RE ABOUT TO LOSE HALF O THEM, THAT'S A CONCERN

IN CLASS YOU LEARN ABOUT TH FOOD CHAIN AND WHEN YOU TAKE SOMETHING OUT OF THE FOOD CHAI IT COULD HAVE RIPPLE EFFECTS BUT BEYOND THIS ONE SINGULAR CHAIN, WHAT YOU'RE DESCRIBING IS A MULTI VARIOUS SYSTEM, ONE PART GOES DOWN HERE, ANOTHER HERE THERE ARE THESE DIFFEREN CONSEQUENCES THAT WE HAVEN'T THOUGHT OF

SO WHEN I TEACH THIS, ONE O THE THINGS I LIKE TO DO IS FIN AN OLD COMPUTER, TAKE IT INT CLASS, POP THE TOP OFF OF IT AND ASK THE STUDENTS WHEN REMOVE A PART, WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, AND MANY OF THEM IMMEDIATELY THINK THAT THE COMPUTER IS GOING TO CRASH O MAYBE SPARKS WILL FLY OUT LIKE A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT THAT DOESN'T USUALLY HAPPEN.

IN FACT, YOU CAN PULL OUT PART AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING YOU HAVE MANY, MANY PARTS AL CONNECTED TO ONE ANOTHER AND HAVE COMPLEX PROCESSES THAT WE DEPEND ON.

THE FUNNY THING IS, IF YOU TRY TO SELL THEM THE COMPUTER EVEN THOUGH IT'S WORKING AND YO REMOVED JUST A FEW PARTS, THEY WON'T BUY IT THEY ARE CONVINCED IT'S NOT GOOD COMPUTER ANYMORE, BUT IF TOLD THEM THE BIOSPHERE, WHICH IS THIS 3.5 BILLION YEAR OLD TRILLION-TON SOLAR POWERED MACHINE IS LOSING HALF ITS PARTS, THAT DOESN'T SEEM T WORRY AS MUCH AS IF YOU LOST PARTS FROM YOUR COMPUTER

BESIDES THOSE STUDENTS, THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE OUT THERE T SAY IT'S NOT HUMAN ACTION, WHA EVIDENCE DO WE HAVE IT'S WHA WE'RE DOING THAT'S ACTUALL CAUSING THIS EXTINCTION, VERSU DIFFERENT NATURAL CYCLES

THAT'S A DIFFICULT ONE TO TACKLE, NOT SO MUCH THAT HUMAN AREN'T AT FAULT, BUT QUANTIFYING WHAT'S HAPPENED.

THE BIG PROBLEM IS, WE ESTIMAT ABOUT 8.7 MILLION SPECIES, BUT THAT'S AN ESTIMATE IN FACT, WE PROBABLY ONLY KNOW ABOUT 2% OR 3% OF ALL TH SPECIES THAT ARE OUT THERE, SO THEN IF WE TURN AROUND AND SAY WELL, WE'RE LOSING ALL THESE SPECIES, JUST AFTER WE SAID WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S OUT THERE, PEOPLE SAY, WHAT, HOW CAN YO SAY THAT SO WE ACTUALLY HAVE VERY GOO WAYS OF QUANTIFYING, IN THE SAME WAY ASTRONOMERS CAN QUANTIFY HOW MANY STARS ARE IN THE UNIVERSE WE HAVE THESE VERY SAME METHODS, BUT PEOPLE WOULD PREFER TO HAV SOMETHING MORE ACCURATE THAN THAT

HOW DO YOU TAKE THE RESEARC THAT YOU'RE DOING AND TURN THA INTO A POLICY PRESCRIPTION O SUGGESTION WHETHER IT'S GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATION THAT'S WORKING IN DIFFERENT PARTS O THE WORLD THAT MIGHT HAV ECOLOGICAL CONCERNS OR CONSEQUENCES

THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS OF DOING THAT WE CAN START AT HOME ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO SA DIVERSIFY THE NUMBER OF SPECIE IN A GARDEN, CONSIDER BUYING FOOD FROM AN ORGANIC FARM, USUALLY MUCH MORE DIVERSE THAN AN INDUSTRIAL FARM BUT THEN YOU CAN SCALE UP AN YOU CAN ASK WHETHER OR NOT THE CITY COULD INVEST MORE IN, SAY LIKE NEW YORK CITY, A MILLIO TREE PLANTING CAMPAIGN AND THEN YOU CAN SCALE IT UP T THE GLOBAL LEVEL WE HAVE THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, WHICH IS HOPING T ACHIEVE 20 DIFFERENT TARGETS T CONSERVE BY DIVERSITY BY THE YEAR 2020.

20 BY 2020 THERE'S A LOT OF NUMERICAL LITTERATION THERE.

SO WHAT'S INTERESTING IS THA THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, EVERY NATION EXCEPT THE UNITED STATES, ANDORRA, AN THE VATICAN, HAS SIGNED THAT THAT KIND OF GLOBAL AGREEMEN SHOWS THAT OUR RESEARCH HA ACTUALLY HAD AN IMPACT AND THE WORLD IS LISTENING

ALL RIGHT, FROM THE EARTH INSTITUTE AT COLUMBI UNIVERSITY, THANKS SO MUCH

THANK YOU

> ENGINEERS AT THE UNIVERSIT OF SOUTH FLORIDA ARE CREATIN THE NEXT WAVE OF ROBOTS THAT CAN MIMIC BOTH HUMAN AND ANIMA MOVEMENTS.

IN THIS SEGMENT, WE GO INSIDE ROBOTICS LAB TO TAKE A LOOK.

♪♪

ROBOTS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED TO HELP US WITH VARIOUS TASKS IN THE PAST, ROBOTS WERE LIMITED TO USING WHEELS TO GET AROUND.

NOW DR. LUTHER PALMER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORID COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING HAS TURNED TO THE ANIMAL KINGDOM FOR INSPIRATION.

WE BUILD SYSTEMS THAT WIL WALK ALONG SOLDIERS, DO SEARCH AND RESCUE IN COLLAPSE BUILDINGS, THAT WE USE THE ANIMAL, THAT'S WHERE THE TER BIOMORPHIC COMES FROM, USING THE MORPHOLOGY WALKING ON LAND, RUNNING JUMPING, CLIMBING ON LAND.

DOGS HAVE BEEN USED IN SEARC AND RESCUE APPLICATIONS, SO IF WE CAN MIMIC THE MOBILITY OF A DOG, ALSO IN SITUATIONS WHERE DOG CAN'T GO, SUCH AS TH HAZARDOUS WASTE CLEANUP.

DR. PALMER DEMONSTRATES HIS SIX-LEGGED DEMONSTRATION IN TH LAB.

THIS CREATION WAS YEARS IN THE MAKING

THIS SYSTEM HERE IS TAKIN FOUR YEARS TO BUILD.

PROBABLY TWO YEARS O SIMULATION, ALGORITH DEVELOPMENT, CALCULUS, TRIGONOMETRY, THEN WE ACTUALLY DO THE BUILDING.

IF YOU ARE A LITTLE RUSTY O HIGH SCHOOL ALGEBRA, SO ARE WE SO WHAT IS AN ALGORITHM?

ALGORITHM IS JUST A PLAN.

IT'S JUST THE FORMAL PLAN.

IT'S DEFINED IN A WAY THAT A COMPUTER CAN UNDERSTAND.

COMPUTERS OFTEN DEAL WITH AR STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE AND CAN MAKE A DECISION BASED ON THAT.

IT'S POSSIBLE FOR US TO FIGURE OUT, HEY, FOR EVERY ANGLE, D SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

WE WANT TO CREATE AN ALGORITHM THAT IS A SMALL FOOTPRINT, I OTHER WORDS, A CODE, THAT CA ACHIEVE THE MOST ♪♪

THE REMOTE CONTROL USED FOR THIS ROBOT IS A BASI DIRECTIONAL DEVICE

WHAT WE WANT THE ROBOT TO D IS TO, IF I SAY GO STRAIGHT, I WANT THE ROBOT TO GO STRAIGHT.

THE DIRECTION OF THE ROBOT SO IT DOESN'T SENSE WHAT'S I FRONT OF IT, DOESN'T HAVE AN VISION SENSOR, BUT IT'S ABLE T OVERCOME WHATEVER IT ENCOUNTERS, BECAUSE ITS LEGS KNOW TO LOO FOR THE GROUND AND RESPOND T THE GROUND, WHATEVER GROUN LEVEL IT ENCOUNTERS.

WHEN IT WALKS AND HIGH OPTIMAL WHAT IT WILL DO IS WE CAN FORC IT TO GO SLOWER AND RAISE IT LEG UP HIGHER, AND THAT PUTS THE LEG IN A POSITION TO OVERCOME HIGH TERRAIN OR LOW TERRAIN.

ONE OF THE DISCOVERIE SCIENTISTS HAVE MADE ABOUT ANIMAL MORPHOLOGY IS OUR LIMBS WORK INDEPENDENTLY FROM OU BRAINS

WHEN AN ANIMAL IS MOVIN REALLY FAST, THERE ISN'T ENOUG TIME FOR LEGS TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER.

IT DOESN'T HAVE ANY FEEDBACK FROM THE MASTER CONTROLLER O LEGS, OR EVEN THE GROUND IT'S GOING TO GO IN THIS PATTERN, HAVE THE ABILITY TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE PATTERN AS IT SEES FIT, EXCELLENT FEEDBACK

DR. PALMER HAS APPLIED THIS CONCEPT TO HIS ROBOTS.

THERE'S A MICROPROCESSER, S THIS HERE JUST TELLS -- IT BASICALLY SAYS, WHAT SHOULD TH X, Y, AND Z POSITION BE?

SO X BEING FORWARD, Y BEING SIDE TO SIDE, Z BEING UP AND DOWN

JOHN HAS JOINED IN THE EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND HOW WE CAN MAK ROBOTS ACT MORE LIKE ANIMALS

SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS COCKROACH, UNSIGHTLY AS THEY MAY BE, THEIR LEGS ARE PRETT INCREDIBLE WE'VE ACTUALLY DESIGNED A ROBO AFTER A COCKROACH BASED ON ITS ABILITY TO BASICALLY CLIMB OVE AND UNDER ANYTHING

THIS COCKROACH-LIKE ROBOT WITH ITS SIX LEGS IS STEERED B ITS HUMAN OPERATOR AND USES IT ANIMAL-LIKE LOOPS TO CLIMB OVE OBSTACLES.

WHY IS A LEG OF A CHEETAH DIFFERENT FROM THE LEG OF CENTIPEDE OR A HUMAN THE DIVERSITY IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF LEGS IS REALLY MASSIVE IT'S REALLY AWE INSPIRING TO B ABLE TO LOOK AT SOMETHING IN NATURE AND DEVELOP THESE THINGS.

WE CAN ONLY HOPE TO BE ABLE TO EMULATE THEM AT SOME POINT

THE WORLD OF RUNNING AN JUMPING ROBOTS SEEM A BIT OUT OF REACH.

DR. PALMER THINKS PRACTICA APPLICATIONS ARE RIGHT AROUN THE CORNER

I ANTICIPATE THAT WE'LL B SENDING LEGGED SYSTEMS TO MARS AND OTHER PLACES AND THAT IS WHAT SERVES TO ME AS THE POTENTIAL, AS WE PUSH HARD TO MAKE THESE SYSTEMS MORE ROBUST AND MORE CAPABLE.

IT TAKES A LOT OF PASSION T PUT IN THE LONG HOURS TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES OF CREATING BIOMORPHIC ROBOTS

IN ORDER TO DO ROBOTICS, YO REALLY HAVE TO HAVE A LOVE O PROBLEM SOLVING, BECAUSE YOU'R PROBLEM SOLVING A UNIQUE SCENARIO IN WHICH YOU HAVE A COMPLICATED SOFTWARE STRUCTURE AND A COMPLICATED HARDWARE STRUCTURE.

AND IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG IN FERRETING OUT WHERE THAT ISSUE IS CAN BE EXHILARATING, FUN, AND ALSO BE VERY PAINFUL, YOU KNOW STAYING LATE AT NIGHT, AND WHA ATTRACTED ME TO ROBOTICS IS THIS MIX.

AND THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THIS TIME FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION, VISIT OU WEBSITE.

YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND JOIN TH CONVERSATION ON TWITTER.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THANKS FO WATCHING

> FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.