A pioneer in the development of artificial muscles will
share his vision of superhuman robotic explorers of the future
in two free public lectures.

In his lectures, called “Electroactive Polymers as
Artificial Muscles,” Dr. Yoseph Bar-Cohen, a senior research
scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,
Calif., will speak about artificial muscles that may enable
biologically inspired robotics. The lectures will be held on
Thursday, Feb. 21 at JPL and Friday, Feb. 22 at Pasadena City

Electroactive polymers, or artificial muscles, are
lightweight strips of highly flexible plastic that bend or
stretch and function similarly to biological muscles when
subjected to electric voltage. Bar-Cohen is leading work on
defining, developing and finding applications for artificial
muscles. He and a small team of scientists and engineers at
JPL, in cooperation with research centers worldwide, are
working to turn such strips into grippers and strings that can
grab and lift loads, among many other potential uses.

Recent developments in this field lead researchers to
believe that the idea of a bionic man or woman may someday be
possible. Bar-Cohen’s lecture will provide an overview of
current developments and discuss the future possibilities for
the Electroactive polymer technology.

A Webcast of the lecture will be availabricat 7 p.m. on
Thursday, Feb. 21 at
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/lectures/feb02.html .

Both lectures are open to the public and will start at 7
p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Thursday’s lecture will be in JPL’s von Karman Auditorium,
located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the Oak Grove
Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. Friday’s lecture
will be at the Pasadena City College Forum, located at 1570 E.
Colorado Blvd.

For more information, call (818) 354-0112 or go to
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/lectures.html .