Robots Develop Sense of Touch
A human hand can find a tool without looking, or put down a glass of water without spilling.
But for robots, these actions are harder than they seem. That is because using a hand requires a sense of touch.
Veronica Santos leads the Biomechatronics Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles.
"So, for example, how hard am I squeezing this object? What forces are required at my fingertips so that I can do these very fine dexterous manipulations of handheld objects?"
Santos and researchers are designing robot hands that do not just hold things. The robot hands can also feel when to let go, says Kenny Gutierrez, a graduate student.
"It's waiting for contact with the table before it decides to let go of the box."
The researchers have created a mechanical finger that senses many of the same things human fingers do. Santos says the device is equipped with a sensor that provides information about what the fingertip is touching. The information can include the object's temperature, internal fluid pressure and movement.
Making robots more gentle and sensitive to touch is a popular research area. Engineers at New York's Cornell University, for example, built a robot that can identify when a tomato is fully grown.
Its sense of touch comes from light shining through its clear rubber skin.
Cornell engineering professor Robert Shepherd says this technology costs less than high-tech electronic skin.
Scientists at China's Harbin Institute of Technology have made artificial skin with electronic hairs that feel pressure much like human hairs do. It can feel something as soft as a tissue.
Researchers are now working to add a sense of touch to artificial arms and legs.
I'm Jill Robbins.
1.artificial skin 人造皮肤
We were working on an artificial skin.
2.graduate student 研究生
Have you determined to become a graduate student?
3.a sense of touch 触觉
The future robots, assembled with a sense of touch, will have plenty of work to do.
4.be equipped with 安装有...
The veranda was equipped with heavy wooden rain doors that were kept closed at night.
1.A human hand can find a tool without looking, or put down a glass of water without spilling.
put down 镇压；放下
Soldiers went in to put down a rebellion.
I know that I do put people down occasionally.
2."It's waiting for contact with the table before it decides to let go of the box."
let go 放手；释放
Hold tight. I'm going to let go.
In therapy, she began to let go of her obsession with Mike.
而对于机器人来说，这些动作的难度很高 。因为用手时需要触觉 。
维罗妮卡·桑托斯（Veronica Santos）是加州大学洛杉矶分校生物机电实验室主任 。
桑托斯和研究人员正在设计一款不仅能够抓取物品的机器人手 。研究生肯尼·古铁雷斯（Kenny Gutierrez）称，机器人手还可以感知何时应该放手 。
研究人员已经研发出一款机械手指，能够感知很多人类手指感知到的物品 。桑托斯介绍称，这种装置内安有感应器，能够提供指尖接触到的物体信息 。包括物体的温度、内部流体压力和移动等信息 。
强化机器人触感的娴熟性与灵敏性是一项热门的研究领域 。例如，纽约康奈尔大学的工程师制造了一款机器人，可以识别西红柿的成熟程度 。
康奈尔大学工程学教授罗伯特·谢波德（Robert Shepherd）表示，这种技术比高科技电子皮肤成本低 。
中国哈尔滨工业大学的科学家已经给人造皮肤装上了电子毛发，能够感应人类毛发感受到的物品 。它还能够感知纸巾等柔软物品 。