A soft robot can now understand the different types of human touch. Many soft robots cannot comprehend the idea of feeling. Scientists have created a method for robots to connect in a new way that allows robots to further enhance their senses.
The robot works with ShadowSense technology. The robot uses a USB camera connected to a laptop to capture shadows to analyze the types of touch on the robot's skin. Utilizing sight to bring in the sense of touch also keeps the robot lightweight and avoids too many sensors. The robot uses a neural-network-based algorithm to recall six gestures with 87.5 to 96% accuracy depending on the lighting.
"We think there is interesting potential because there are lots of social robots that are not able to detect touch gestures." says Lead Author Yuhan Hu.
Robots sensitive to touch can help in emergencies where people may need assistance in challenging environments.