She switches to the backstroke after ten laps. Ten more and she rolls over again; breaststroke. She has waterproof headphones and an audiobook going.
"- fuch thish ish good!" he says with his mouth full.
"I take full credit."
"It's true, I didn't help at all."
Ohan swallows, makes sure his teeth don't have stuff stuck between them with his tongue, then grins. "You never told me you could cook."
"You never asked! And I wanted to show off to the both of you at the same time for maximum praise."
She pats his head. "Very yummy," she tells him.
Sahde leans into the pats.
"So what do you do when you're not tinkering with your wheelchair?"
"I read lots of papers about this stuff, and I teach! Or, well, I'm a teacher assistant and I sometimes sub in, at the university."
"What's on the syllabus?"
"Things just this side of robotics - 'control systems,' which is a fancy name for stuff that manages to stay upright or stable or whatever on its own by reacting in real time to small changes in the environment. It's the sort of thing the Amentan brain does when you manage to catch yourself after being pushed slightly off-balance and then you shift your body weight in a bunch of intuitive ways that get your balance back, you know?"
"Ah, that thing. Mine's broken."
"- oh, right, you did mention. Yeah, that's just one of the applications, the general thing is figuring out what sorts of things you have to do to mechanical things in the real world in order to have them move and shake and all that the way you want them to even if there's, like, wind or gravity or whatever."
"Is that the sort of thing that has to be an autonomous object or would it work as a - wearable that threw its weight here and there to compensate for jitter?"
"You know, I could do that."
"Totally. I'm not sure how exactly, what it would look like but - it's kinda exactly the sort of thing this would lend itself for, maybe a jacket of some sort, hmm..."
"I'd need you to tell me more - what exactly goes wrong when you lose balance, what do you try and what are like the instincts your body has..."
"Hm, I'm not sure in what format the information would be most useful? I suppose I could find a well padded place to jog and you could take high-speed video?"
"Yeah that would actually be pretty informative. If I could stick some sensors to you to record what's going on with each relevant body part at each point in more detail, too..."
"Like motion capture actors?"
"Yeah exactly! Probably not as fancy as the ones movie producers have, those budgets... But I don't think we'd need that much firepower."