Researchers develop artificial sense of touch for robots, not long until Blade Runner is a reality

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In the future, androids -no not the mobile smartphone brand, but human-like robots- will be developed with a combination of various types of technology. Tech hasn’t quite advanced enough to allow for the development of a human-like robot yet. However, today we’re one step closer to that reality. Scientists from Georgia Tech have developed a new type of tactile sensitivity tech which will allow robots to use the sense of touch, and e-signature machines to provide more accurate responses. I know, those two components are hardly related, but I’m not making this up I promise.

Thanks to thousands of piezotronic transistors called “taxels,” the new technology can ultimately convert motion into electronic signals. The research was completed by a three person team, and led by Professor Zhong Lin Wang.

As for the e-signature improvements, the new technology can be used to allow digital signature machines to better calculate speed and pressure. This will translate into a more secure, and much more accurate digital signature.

Of course, as I’ve already mentioned, the technology can also be implemented in robots to aid them in interpreting various signals involved with the sense of touch. This means that robots can be programmed to apply an appropriate amount of pressure, depending on what they are interacting with. For example, robotic hands will be able to gently scoop up a lightbulb without crushing the glass.

Better yet, the sensors involved can be integrated with flexible and transparent components. In other words, there are a whole ton of possibilities in terms of real world applications as far as this technology is concerned.

I’m willing to bet that it won’t be long before we see this somehow implemented in a new smartphone or tablet. Can you think of anything else that tech like this could be used for?

[via Georgia Tech, Engadget]

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