Robots given sense of TOUCH by stunned AI experts

Robots given sense of TOUCH by stunned AI experts

ARTIFICIAL intelligence experts have developed an electronic glove containing sensors, in a tech breakthrough that means robots could have a sense of touch.
By David Rivers / Published 22nd November 2018

Engineers at Stanford University said the device will allow a robotic hand to touch a delicate berry or pingpong ball without squashing them.

Chemical engineer, Professor Zhenan Bao, said: "This technology puts us on a path to one day giving robots the sort of sensing capabilities found in human skin."

He added that sensors in the glove can measure the "intensity and direction of pressure".

This is crucial in handling items with skill, and it also believed a robot using the glove will be able to hold an egg between a thumb and forefinger without smashing it.

Prof Bao added: "We can programme a robotic hand to touch a raspberry without crushing it, but we're a long way from being able to touch and detect that it is raspberry and enable the robot to pick it up."

Each sensor on the globe is made of three flexible layers working together.

To test the technology, experts put the glove on a robotic hand before programming it to touch a berry without damaging it.

Earlier this year, Chinese scientists developed a "shape-shifting" robot developed by the Terminator films.

The machine uses a plastic wheel, small lithium battery and drops of liquid metal.

Its wheels work the liquid metal and changes its centre of gravity, sparking a prediction robots will in future be fit for "rescue missions" that can change shape.

Experts said the T-1000 mode from Terminator 2: Judgment Day as their inspiration.

Li Xiangpeng, a robotics professor at Soochow University in Suzhou, China, told South China Morning Post: "We were inspired by T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

"In the future, we expect to further develop soft robots incorporating liquid metal that could be used in special missions such as searching for and rescuing earthquake victims, since they can change shape to slide under doors or make it through spaces humans can’t get into."


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