Codebreaker

First lady fingers, then Butterfingers. Now: robot fingers!

Marc Sanchez Jun 19, 2012


There’s a new robot in town and this one’s got extra-sensitive feelings. No, not the emotional type. A texture-sensing robot using, what’s being called, BioTac technology has been developed by a group of Viterbi School researchers in Southern California.

The Verge paints this picture:

It has a soft exterior skin that surrounds a liquid filling and a bone-like core. Inside the core, the BioTac has a hydrophone — an underwater microphone — which detects vibrations as the sensor moves to determine texture. The team says the BioTac, just like its biological inspiration, can also detect directional force and temperature.

These good old robot fingers are said to be able to identify objects by touch even better than humans, which means when you take your robot fingered hand to the haunted house this Halloween, don’t be surprised when it’s not scared whatsoever by touching the grapes floating in a bowl of water. Even though it’s dark in there, that robot knows it isn’t touching a bowl of eyeballs. Know this: it can also sense your tears when you use it to wipe your scaredy-cat eyes while running out of the haunted house. Man up!

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