Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) found a new way to give robots a sense of touch. In a paper published in the April edition of the International Journal of Robotics Research, scientists describe a robot arm that was able to 'touch' objects when used in conjunction with electronic vision.
In a video produced by the Georgia Tech group, a disabled man has his mouth wiped and blanket adjusted by a robot arm. Participants in the study reported that the touch of the robot was not uncomfortable.
As of now, the published paper only describes a few uses for the device. However, researchers will give a detailed presentation on potential uses of the technology at the International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics in Seattle, June 24-26.