Robotic arm prostheses are rapidly advancing in terms of strength, speed, and the way they interface with the human body. While having true tactile sensing would be a fantastic add-on, researchers at Georgia Tech have been working on new technology that may effectively replicate many of the abilities arising from touch.
They created a robotic arm that has tactile sensing material across its entire length. Coupled with new software that integrates the sense data, the robotic arm can move through clutter, understanding what is hard and soft, and help its user push, pull, and grip in a more automatic, intuitive way.
Check out the video:
Study in The International Journal of Robotics Research: Reaching in clutter with whole-arm tactile sensing