My research is focused on developing a contactless and non-destructive material characterization capability. This research has the potential to open up doors for smarter robots that can interact with real-world objects or humans without prior knowlege of their environmental parameters. Other uses include facilitating teleoperation and telepresence systems. To achieve these goals we use infrared thermography to acquire the thermal signature of materials as their response to thermal excitation. Various signal processing and machine learning methods turn the captured data into material information.