The artificial skin makes robots allow them to feel. Robots are now one step closer to gaining human senses.
Last month scientists unveiled an artificial skin. This enables robots to feel and respond to physical contact a skill that will be needed in the future.
Further, in 2017, manufacturers worldwide use more or less 85 robots per 10,000 employees, according to a report by the International Federation of Robots. This same report predicts that the use of robots will increase per year by 14% until 2021.
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But if robots will end up working more closely with humans, one concern is how they will interact safely.
Professor Gordon Cheng, who developed the special skin with his team at the Technical University of Munich says,
Currently, robots do not have any sense of touch.
Moreover, robots are extremely dangerous because they are able to exert forces that could seriously injure a human being. So employees need to ensure that they are able to be aware of their surroundings and be able to navigate around people.
Chiara Bartolozzi, a robotics expert at the Italian Institute of Technology, independent of the research says,
Touch enables safe robot operation, by detecting contact with unseen obstacles and giving the possibility to apply the correct force for achieving a task, without damaging objects, people and the robot itself,
So, not only could the special skin make things between humans and robots safer. Furthermore, they can also be a part of the future where they can be caregivers, health workers, and even companions.