Touch Sensor For Sensitive Robots

A new kind of touch sensor for robots has been created by Satake Manufacturing and the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Information Science and Technology.


(Touch-sensitive sensor for sensitive robots)

The sensor is designed to be sensitive to even light touches on the surface of a robot. Robots working with human beings need to emulate their organic brethren, and flinch away quickly from inappropriate contact. People who contact an appropriately-sensor-equipped robot will feel a soft surface similar to their own sensitive, yielding skin.

SF robots certainly made use of this kind of sensitivity. In This Immortal, a Hugo award-winning story by Roger Zelazny, a wrestling robot named Rolem has an assortment of sensors to make sure that it never exerted too much pressure on a human sparring partner. Unless somebody sets it differently, of course.

Off in the distance, I heard a scream. 'Stop it, Hassan, it's not supposed to do that!'

Which meant that I was Conrad, and that I was in Egypt, and that the expressionless face before me was therefore that of the golem-wrestler, Rolem, a creature that could be set for five times the strength of a human being, and was probably so set, a creature which could be given the reflexes of an adrenalized cat, and doubtless had them in full operation.

Only a golem wasn't supposed to kill, except by accident and Rolem was trying to kill me.

Roboticists have been working on touch-sensitive robots; gently stroke these links to find out more: Robot Skin Soft Like Yours, Robots Get Touch Sensitive Skin and Arm-Wrestling Arcade Game Robotic Arm.

From Mainchi.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/17/2010)

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