Researchers develop robotic hand having the feeling of pain
We have come to a point where robots look so convincing you’ll look twice to confirm. But what about their ability to feel things like us? That is a complicated ability which requires a lot of research. Giving us all a new way to look at future robots who’ll look, behave and feel just like humans, Cornell have developed an advanced robotic hand. Headed by Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, the robotic hand has feelings in its limbs.
The research has been published in debut edition of Science Robotics under the title “Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides”. The robotic hand has sensors inside the superficial surface to detect the pressure of forces being employed. So technically, the robotic hand can feel pain.
They used a four-step soft lithography process to make the core and cladding having LED and photodiode. The amount of light lost through the core is detected and enables the prosthetic hand to sense/feel the surroundings. One example of this sensing method is to determine the ripeness of tomatoes by feeling the texture and shape.
According to the developers, the innovation could be used for advanced prosthetics, bio-inspired robotics and other applications where advanced sensory input is required to perform a task.
Robert’s research has been ably supported by a grant from Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Also, the team has got access to the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility and the Cornell Center for Materials Research for further making further breakthroughs in the developments.