Engineering Touch

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Department Seminar Series

3/6 (Friday)    Noon – 1:00 pm     RH202

Engineering Touch

Dr. Yon Visell
Assistant Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Drexel University

A longstanding goal of engineering research has been to realize new technologies that accurately reflect the remarkable prehensile, sensory, and behavioral capabilities of biological systems for touch, including the human hand. That this objective remains far from reality can be attributed in part to the difficulty of specifying, electronically capturing, and reproducing the mechanical stimuli that give rise to touch sensations. These difficulties can be traced to the high dimensionality of these signals, to the multiple length and time scales they span, to their dependence on motor behavior and on contact mechanical interactions with the environment. I will describe research aimed at quantifying and overcoming these challenges, and will explain how we are using the results to drive advances in active materials and systems for haptic display, sensing, and robotics.



Dr. Visell's research addresses haptic engineering, sensing, robotics, and the neuroscientific basis of touch perception. Currently Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Drexel University, where he directs the NSF supported RE Touch Lab. Post-Doctoral Fellow (2011-2012) at the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6. PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University's Center for Intelligent Machines (2011).  MA and BA degrees in Physics (Univ. Texas-Austin and Wesleyan University). He has initiated several international projects in the domains of robotics, haptics, and VR, and spent more than 6 years in industrial R&D at several high technology firms, including Ableton, where he contributed to music software that is used by artists ranging from Pete Townshend to Vijay Iyer and Nine Inch Nails.