Robots are many great things and have advanced in details and technicalities throughout the years. But, artificial as they are, robots still lack the function of basic human sensory skills.
However, that may be the case no longer. In a recent statistics report by the International Federation of Robotics, they stated that manufacturers worldwide use roughly 85 industrial robots per 10,000 employees. This statistics was brought up to illustrate the need to equip robot colleagues to work safely along with its human work mates, thus the need for robots to adapt to the sense of touch.
Luckily, Professor Gordon Cheng along with his team at the Technical University of Munich have developed a special skin that would allow robots to feel a sense of ‘touch’.
“Touch enables safe robot operation, by detecting contact with unseen obstacles and giving the possibility to apply the correct force for achieving a task, without damaging objects, people and the robot itself,” Chiara Bartolozzi, a robotics expert at the Italian Institute of Technology, independent of the research, tells CNN Business at an earlier report this month.
The process in making these artificial skins of course came by observing human skin and mimicking its functions.
The group covered a human-size autonomous robot known as H1 with more than 13,000 temperature-sensitive sensors from torso to feet that can also detect temperature, acceleration, proximity and pressure. Some scientists are skeptical of its scalability.
All in all, the goal of the entire project is for robots and humans to work safely together in every workplace they are both in.