Today we’re joined by Monroe Kennedy III, an assistant professor at Stanford, director of the Assistive Robotics and Manipulation Lab, and a national director of Black in Robotics. In our conversation with Monroe, we spend some time exploring the robotics landscape, getting Monroe’s thoughts on the current challenges in the field, as well as his opinion on choreographed demonstrations like the dancing Boston Robotics machines. We also dig into his work around two distinct threads, Robotic Dexterity, (what does it take to make robots capable of doing manipulation useful tasks with and for humans?) and Collaborative Robotics (how do we go beyond advanced autonomy in robots towards making effective robotic teammates capable of working with human counterparts?). Finally, we discuss DenseTact, an optical-tactile sensor capable of visualizing the deformed surface of a soft fingertip and using that image in a neural network to perform calibrated shape reconstruction and 6-axis wrench estimation.