Robots are Getting a Sense of Touch

We often take for granted the abilities that we have. Our hands can find and identify objects without us having to look at what we’ve found, or put down a glass filled with liquid, and we could do it without spilling a drop.

These and other similar activities are possible for us because of our sense of touch. However, when it comes to robots, these actions can be difficult, or even impossible to do. That’s because these machines can’t feel their surroundings. They can ‘see’ them by scanning around using multiple tools, but they still can’t feel anything. At least they couldn’t, until now.

The leader of the University of California’s Biomechatronics lab, Veronica Santos, and her team have managed to design a robotic hand that can not only hold things but also feel when to let go of them. These researchers from Los Angeles have demonstrated a new type of robotic arm that can feel, and it uses this new feature when it moves objects around. It can feel when the object (like a box that it’s holding) makes contact with the table, and it’s only then that it decides to let it go.

These mechanical fingers can sense a lot of things that humans can, and that’s possible because of the built-in sensor. These sensors can tell the machine what is it that the fingers are touching. The information that they’re reading include objects movement, fluid pressure, and even it’s temperature. All of this makes robots gentle and more sensitive, which is one of the more popular of the research areas in robotics.

This field of research leaves a lot of space for imagination and creativity when it comes to personalization of robots. For example, Cornell University’s researchers from New York have also made a robot, and theirs that can tell when the tomatoes are fully grown.

Cornell’s professor of engineering, Robert Shepherd, has said that this tech costs even less than high-tech electronic skin. The sense of touch for this robot comes from the light that’s shining through the rubber skin on the robot’s hand.

There are also scientists in China, from the Harbin Institute of Technology that have created a special type of artificial skin. This skin has electronic hairs built into it, and these are being used for feeling pressure, just like the human hairs can. They can even detect objects that are as soft as a tissue.

As we can see, the research related to allowing robots the ability to feel is advancing rapidly. Next objective for the researchers is adding the sense of touch to artificial limbs, like legs, and arms.


  1. 633133 615408Thanks for the write up! Also, just a heads up, your RSS feeds arent working. Could you take a look at that? 795426

  2. Greetings, I do think your blog might be having browser compatibility problems.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues.

    I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, great blog!

  3. hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up anything new from right here.

    I did however expertise some technical issues using this website, since I experienced to
    reload the web site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could
    damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  4. 876696 696896The posh distributed could be described as distinctive; customers are in fact yearning for bags can be a Native aspirations. Which strange surroundings is built that is to market diversity furthermore importance with travel and leisure market trends. hotels unique offers 769676

  5. My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none
    the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on several websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform.

    I have heard very good things about Is there a way I
    can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be
    really appreciated!

  6. whoah this weblog is excellent i love studying your
    posts. Stay up the great work! You recognize, many people are searching round for this
    info, you could help them greatly.

  7. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info!

  8. Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your site.
    Im really impressed by your site.
    Hello there, You’ve performed a great job. I will definitely
    digg it and in my view recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll
    be benefited from this website.

  9. You should take part in a contest for one of the most useful sites online.
    I am going to recommend this blog!

  10. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is
    required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like
    yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% sure.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  11. Hello to every body, it’s my first visit of this web site; this webpage consists of awesome and genuinely fine stuff designed for visitors.

  12. Hi there, after reading this amazing post i am also delighted to share my experience here with friends.

  13. I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make such a great informative site.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here