Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Robots Need Realistic Skin!

Without realistic robot skin, robots will never have that humanlike personal touch, and will not have the degree of social acceptance that we all want robots to have.

"Touch is important in social interactions. Social touch are all those instances in which people touch each other, when shaking hands, when giving a pat in the back as a sign of congratulations and even in high-fives. Unless some form of alternative greetings are invented in the future, the typical social touches exchanged among humans may likely remain even with social robots...

Yet, one should not easily assume that humans will be comfortable with the idea of shaking an artificial hand made from a stiff material and can grip with a force that can reach up to 100 Newtons. In addition to the appropriate controls for a safe handshake grip and other forms of social touch, humanlike skin softness would be a reasonable requirement for the sociable robots envisioned to directly interact with humans in a social setting.

Human skin has properties that are not easy to replicate in synthetics. The authors of the paper identified three specific qualities that must be replicated to give that genuine human skin feeling:

  • Skin compliance
    The degree to which skin can be deformed by a force.
  • Conformance
    The degree to which the shape of skin conforms to an object that it touches or rests upon.
  • Hysteresis
    The difference between the way it deforms and then reforms - how force applied to skin is dissipated.
Yes, yes - I know what you're thinking. What about good old silicone and polyurethane? The authors test these simplistic skin substitutes and find them wanting. Take a look at their skin materials testing machine.


(From Sociable robots and prosthetics [pdf])

Skip down to the link set within this article for the creepiest robot skin of all. Guaranteed to pass all tests.

Robots like the ones depicted in the upcoming film Surrogates would just be crude mechanical contraptions without convincing skin.

Find out more about various attempts to create more realistic humanlike robot skin:

From Towards Humanlike Social Touch for Sociable Robotics and Prosthetics: Comparisons on the Compliance, Conformance and Hysteresis of Synthetic and Human Fingertip Skins (pdf) by John-John Cabibihan, Stéphane Pattofatto, Moez Jomâa, Ahmed Benallal and Maria Chiara Carrozza. Via Technology Review.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/24/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
'They marched in unison, seven of them...' - Isaac Asimov, 1944.

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

Robotic Surgeons Outperform Human Surgeons
'...the objects moving about so gently and putting their instruments away were not living beings, but robots.' - John Russell Fearn

In Your Orchard, Do You Want Buzzing Suction Drones, OR Dick's Claw Hand Drones?
'Something that gleamed, shiny metal, gleamed and clicked as it turned toward her.' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

The Far Side Of The Moon, By NASA (2015) And By PAUL (1932)
"We had leisure to make a thorough observation of the hidden side of earth's satellite."

LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
'They marched in unison, seven of them...'

Sierra Space Inflatable LIFE Habitat Burst Pressure Test
'It was like being inside a balloon...'

Longest Immersed Tunnel Will Connect Denmark and Germany
'... iron tubes... the ends of the tubes were joined to each other...to preserve it from the action of the seawater.'

Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive....'

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'

Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
'Holodeck 4 was waiting to be programmed...'

Robot Food Delivery Coming To Campus Near You
'... he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Are Craiyon Images Puddinged, ala Philip K. Dick?
'I stood in line for half an hour for this, and it's just a blob!'

Hip'Safe Airbag For Seniors, From Helite
'Other airbags go off around her torso and pelvis...'

Soulaje Self-Administered Euthanasia Wearable Prototype
'A young man... advanced with nervous strides along the gravel path which leads to the bronze doors of the Lethal Chamber.'

Midjourney AI Creates 'Théâtre D'opéra Spatial', Wins Art Fair First Prize
'... we'll give him in his brain what he needs for creation.'

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...'

Space-Based Solar Power A Priority - European Space Agency
'...vast man-made disk of metal set spinning about the sun to supply the Earth with power.'

Goldilocks Zones Found On The Moon
Hopefully, there are no Mynocks in shadowed lunar craters, chewing on the power cables of spacecraft...

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.