Turner Measures Effects of Heat With Robot ‘MaRTy’

Fox 10 News in Phoenix spoke to Assistant Professor of Urban Planning V. Kelly Turner about research measuring how a person experiences heat. The interview, conducted during a triple-digit heat wave in Arizona, focused on a mobile weather station known as MaRTy, invented by Turner’s research partner, Arizona State University Assistant Professor Ariane Middel. The robot collects climatological data to determine “mean radiant temperature,” which “gives us a sense of how pedestrians experience heat, not just how the ground feels to the touch,” Turner explained. The research adds to the body of knowledge surrounding the urban heat island effect, which makes high temperatures in cities even more unbearable. Turner and Middel have been walking MaRTy around urban areas in Phoenix, Tempe and Los Angeles to help city leaders determine which areas would benefit most from increasing shade and planting trees.

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