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Teen Science Cafe: Bionics: A Lesson in Biomechanics and Brain-Computer Interfaces

Thursday, March 21, 2013 @ 5:30 PM-7:30 PM


The Gateway Teen Science Café is a free, fun way for teens to explore science, technology, engineering and math. Teens have the opportunity to interact with science professionals in an informal and relaxed setting.

Junior Academy Student members, as well as, middle and high school students are invited to the March Teen Science Cafe: Bionics: A Lesson in Biomechanics and Brain-Computer Interfaces.

Imagine that you lost your ability to use your hand or legs. Perhaps you even lost the limb itself. What would you do? How would you adapt? What challenges would you face on a daily basis? You may know one or more people who are affected by similar circumstances. Even famous public figures like physicist Stephen Hawking or past U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt have experienced the effects of paralysis and nerve atrophy.

Now imagine a future where missing or non-working body parts could be replaced or made useable with robotic prosthetic devices. These devices could closely simulate the human anatomy in beautiful detail, perhaps eventually even to the point that they looked quite similar. Robotic legs could allow those who are unable to walk to do so; mechanical hands could let a person pick up objects, draw, cook, clean, and more! Better yet, imagine that these devices plugged directly into your nervous system, allowing you to control them with your brain (much like a regular limb) and even to enjoy the sensation of touch. Wouldn’t that be great?!

Fortunately, this dream is currently being pursued by biomedical researchers, and real progress is being made! Join us as we explore this progress and the world of robotic prosthetic devices through a brain-computer interface with Dr. Dan Moran of Washington University in a cafe that we call Bionics!

Dr. Dan Moran is an associate professor in biomedical engineering at Washington University with a secondary appointments in Neurobiology and Physical Therapy at the School of Medicine. His primary research involves voluntary motor control and the control signals necessary to restore movement in paralyzed individuals through implantable devices. Dr. Moran’s work draws from his background in electrical engineering, movement biomechanics, and systems neurophysiology.

This event is free and open to middle and high school students. Registration is required. To register, CLICK HERE or call 314-533-8586.

Please CLICK HERE to download a permission form for the event.

Washington University Campus (on-campus location to be announced)

Photo credit: Washington University Moran Lab.


Thursday, March 21, 2013
5:30 PM-7:30 PM
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