Robot hand touch comparable to that of humans
A new innovation by researchers at Cornell University has developed a soft robot that can feel the surroundings the same way humans do.
The Gentle Bot’s soft robot hands has a human touch. The researchers have outlined the invention in detail in the journal Science Robotics.
The project was led by Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab.
The paper “Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides” talks about the ability of soft robot hand in not only touching fragile items but also in making sense of the texture of things it holds.
“Our human hand is not functioning using motors to drive each of the joints; our human hand is soft with a lot of sensors… on the surface and inside the hand,” stated Huichan Zhao, lead author and doctoral student in mechanical engineering.
According to Zhao, soft robotics offer a
chance to make a soft hand that is closer to a human hand.
Many warehouses are already making use of soft robotic technology for handling food and other items, but Cornell’s hand is special because it can handle more delicate items.
It was amply demonstrated by Gentle Bot by picking up the softest and ripest tomatoes from a bunch after feeling their shape and texture.