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Sensitive, Soft Robot Skin

Robots are coming in closer contact with people in the workplace; shouldn't they have sensitive, soft skin?


(Robot skin; UBC engineers created the sensor in collaboration with Frontier Robotics)

When applied to the surface of a prosthetic arm or a robotic limb, the sensor skin provides touch sensitivity and dexterity, enabling tasks that can be difficult for machines such as picking up a piece of soft fruit. The sensor is also soft to the touch, like human skin, which helps make human interactions safer and more lifelike.

"Our sensor can sense several types of forces, allowing a prosthetic or robotic arm to respond to tactile stimuli with dexterity and precision. For instance, the arm can hold fragile objects like an egg or a glass of water without crushing or dropping them," said study author Dr. Mirza Saquib Sarwar, who created the sensor as part of his Ph.D. work in electrical and computer engineering at UBC's faculty of applied science.

One of the earliest references to robot skin can be found in Rex, a 1934 story by Harl Vincent:

The marvelous mechanisms were housed in a body like a Greek godís, the covering of which was made from an elastic, tinted material that had all the feel and appearance of human flesh and epidermis.


(Rex the Robot-Surgeon)

Read more about robot skin!

  - Robot Skin Detects Your Gentle Caress
  - New Robot Skin Is Flexible, Sensitive, Solar-Powered
  - Robot Skin Uses Hexagonal Sensors (Video)
  - Sensitive Artificial Skin For Touchy-Feely Robots
  - Cables For Robot Skin Will Stretch Like Human Skin
  - Electronic Skin For Human Prosthetics
  - New 'Smart-Skin' Senses Pressure, Humidity, Heat

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/23/2023)

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