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Uploaded:2014-04-02
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Come visit "The Machine Inside: Biomechanics" at the Field or find a traveling show in your area, and check out Bob's fun interactives for yourself! :D

More about the show here: http://biomechanics.fieldmuseum.org/


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The Brain Scoop is written and hosted by:
Emily Graslie

Created By:
Hank Green

Directed, Edited, Animated, and Scored by:
Michael Aranda

Huge thanks to Bob Belote for his help with this episode! I still haven't managed to break any of his installations. Yet.

Production Assistant:
Katie Kirby

Filmed on Location and Supported by:
The Field Museum in Chicago, IL
(http://www.fieldmuseum.org)

Thanks to Tony Chu, Seth Bergenholtz, and Martina Šafusová for translating this episode!

*Intro plays*

Emily: Hi! This is so weird. This is the weirdest introduction and my teeth are brown. Oh god. Um, we're with Bobby Belote who mans the, um Shop Awesome, as I have dubbed it here up in the interactives. So he does interactive museum exhibit things and we're playing with a heat camera and I learned that I have terrible circulation.

Bobby: I can tell your surface temperature.
Emily: Oh!
Bobby: It says - only the surface - so I know your forehead's only 91.85. Your nose 80, 80 degrees.
Emily: I like doing this, you put your hands on the face and ohhhahaha. Like bloodstreaks.
Bobby: You have the icy fingers.
Emily: I know, my hands are so cold. This is incredible! You can draw stuff on your forehead! Woahoho.

Emily: How did you get into this?
Bobby: Uh, hahahahahaha! I have a weird background, I have degrees in, a Bachelor's in painting and art history.
Emily: Nice.
Bobby: And then my Master's is in media arts.
Emily: Oh, nice.
Bobby: But I have this kind of vague, like I'm good at woodworking, I learned a lot about microcontrollers in school and doing low voltage circuitry, and that kind of like translated really well into this museum space.
E: God! You just get to play all day long. This is amazing! This is the kind of stuff that I never understood about technology. I look at something like this and I have no idea how circuits work. You just got into this just from playing around?
B: Well I was doing art stuff. I was doing like kinetic sculptures and kinetic video art and stuff, so I was like learning how to do actuation through the art stuff and then I just developed all these skills, and then I didn't know how to monetize it, so I was like, "But I do!"
E: I gotta get a job! Oooh! So what else have you been working on up here?
B: We want to demonstrate how the muscle connects to a bone at different points along the bone. Here's my big bone I made.
E: Nice, I saw you printing this
B: Yeah, on the shopbot
E: Yeah, shopbot
B: So there's different, there's a, different leverage at work so as it goes closer the joint, it's harder to lift, but you have a greater range of motion.
E: Ohhh.
B: And you use my cool motor thing
E: Woah
B: It's further away from the joint, it's much easier, but you have less range of motion
E: Ohh. You play with buttons and things and you just get to experiment all day
B: I made a circuit board and then I have a motor in there
E: That's a, I don't even understand how you, how you do it
B: Haha
E: I'm so amazed right now
B: Do you want to see the back part?
E: Yeah!
B: So here's another one of my circuit boards I made so, except there's a sensor here, a proximity sensor, so I can tell when the arm's going up.
E: Wow
B: So the arm goes up, the sensor goes off and knows not to let the motor go
E: Ohh
B: So I have the motor mounted up onto the same rod that the arm is on, so the drive mechanism kinda just travels with it
E: Mhm. Wow!
B: Then the buttons are hooked up, they go underneath. There's more sensors on the arm, too, that tell it when to...it's at the ends so that it doesn't try to over-extend and over-twerk it 
E: Yeah. That's cool! So do you come up with the ideas for these interactives or does somebody kind of tell you what they want to happen and you say I can do that or that's not possible?
B: Well it's more of a collaborative process so at the early stages of the development an interactive team will get together with the development team and I'll be like this is the general theme we're looking at for the show and then you know do you have any ideas for this kind of stuff. We want to focus on this element of-
E: Yeah
B: stuff to teach kids about so we're like oh we can try this we can try that so it's kind of a really iterer-iterive-iterive-iterative! Ugh, I can't talk. Iterative process, where you kind of like develop ideas. 
E: And bounce them back and forth and kinda figure out what works? That's so much fun. 
B: I work with the researchers. So I'll get a drawing like that, about, like how things are supposed to move. So I'll make like an early prototype
E: Okay like this thing?
B: So this is my first "Dunk"
E: Aww, so this is Dunkleosteus, this is that prehistoric...it was a fish, right? Prehistoric fish?
B: Yes, giant armored fish, had an armored eyeball and the skull was like...
E: This, it's like this big. Yeah.
B: Must be 4 feet across, 6 feet tall. So this first one, I kind of just based it off the drawing I had. I kind of got a couple things wrong, like this is not supposed to be static. So like, we wrote little notes. It says that this is a muscle actually, not a bone.
E: Ohh.
B: And, you know, how much the muscle needs to contract. So I made a more advanced model
E: Nice
B: So I kind of refined the drawing, made it look more like a Dunk. And then I kind of made it so that the muscles will slide correctly. 
E: Yea. Well that looks....yeah
B: and the bottom one
E: He's going. Oh 'cause it can, like, shoot it's jaw forward
B: Yeah the whole head just kinda shoots forward
E: Like "HUURGH"
B: Now like for the Dunk right now, I'm working on getting the final one made-or the final prototype made. Basically at this stage, I'm kind of reinforcing, I'm making reinforcements for weak points in the interactive 'cause I need to make it really tough so that it lasts a long time. I'm also like including little springs so it'll return. So that one's just real simple-trying to like, proof of concept, trying to get the motion right
E: Yeah
B: So this one has more of the bells and whistles where it has, like the spring returns and reinforced joints and stuff like that to make sure it lasts a long time. Also I had to research material, like, I went through a bunch of different iterations of different materials before I found this.
E: This... plastic?
B: Yeah, it's a polyethylene, like a high density, rigid, polyethylene. It's a really low friction surface, has a high impact strength, so it can take a lot of abuse.
E: Yeah. This has to last for quite a while, I mean, and is this going to be part of the traveling exhibit?
B: Mhm
E: So this is going to go all over the country and all over the world
B: Mhm
E: And kids and adults and obnoxious people in their mid-twenties like me are going to play with it for decades to come.
B: And people yank on these things during like public tests
E: Yeah
B: There's a lever like- I saw one lady, she like braced herself and like yanked up with her full force on the leverage interactive
E: Wow
B: The first time. She didn't even do like a test pull. She's like "Okay I'm gonna, like, get this" and like, yanked the crap out of it
E: Wow so you have to put these things under quite a bit of abuse
B: Yeah
E: Yeah. Well if you ever need, like, a test audience, have me come up here and I'll go crazy
B: I don't know, 6-year-olds are the most destructive force on Earth.
E: Yeah hahaha. Not hurricanes, not volcanoes...
B: They're the gold standard, yeah
E: ... 6-year olds. So the sling jaws like another kind of fish. That's a modern fish.
B: Yeah but it can launch it's mouth out really far
E: That's insane
B: Boink
E: Fun! This way? Whoop... whoop
B: Go up. Go up
E: Did I break it? There we go.
B: Yeah I haven't put the stops in yet
E: Oh! See? It's not Emily-proof yet. Ulgh! Look at it go! You should put like a worm or something. What do these guys eat?
B: Yeah we're going to put something there. Something like f- maybe a little shrimp or something
E: I'm just gonna come up here when you're not here and then you're gonna walk in and I'm just gonna be playing
B: "Why are all my things broken?!"
E: Hahaha! Emily....
E: Woo! I just, like, am amazed that my hair is cold, and then the little thing, and my braid thing and my glasses, and I can take my glasses off- Oh Emily has her glasses off for the first time on The Brain Scoop! I have awkward like eye spots
B: You can see your eyelashes
E: Can you?
B: Mhm
E: I'm a pretty princess
B: They're slightly purple
E: Well thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. Like I said, I'm gonna be up here all the time, playing with all the things and the interactives and nooooooo! It's like that scene in Macbeth, where Lady Macbeth has the blood on her hands and she's like "Ahh it's everywhere!"
B: I think my hands are too warm to do that
E: Yeah, not me. I don't have...my thumb for whatever reason is really warm.
B: This is what my hair would look like with frosted tips
E: I don't know if that's a good look for you
B: I don't think so either
E: But anyway, yeah. Well thanks for talking! Say goodbye! Goodbye!

*End song plays*