Engineers at University of California, Los Angeles are developing robotic hands with a sense of touch. While tactile sensors have been used before in order to create a rudimentary sense of touch, the UCLA team is taking this technology a step further by introducing smart algorithms to process what the sensors are feeling.
Specifically, the researchers are building a “language of touch” that can be used to help humans to intuitively operate robotic devices. The devices are asked to touch objects, remembering what they feel like within a special database. This is used as a template to allow the system to touch other objects, recognizing them simply from how they feel.
Here’s a video with the researchers showing off the new technology: