Friday 13 June 2008

Robotic hand Uses Pre Touch to Find Its Grip

Intel researchers have designed a robotic hand that is able to sense the general shape of objects before interacting with them.

The robotic hand gets a rough idea of what it's about to grasp by using electrolocation, as it's known, which is common in fish, particularly sharks, that detect electric fields better than any other animal. The robot hand bounces electric fields off of objects and then conform the hand to that shape in real time.

The researchers are using this technique in an attempt to give robots what they call Pre Touch, a sense that has a longer range than touch but a shorter range than vision.

Notice in this video, how the hand preforms to the shape of an object before it attempts to grasp it and the results are what can only be described as a strangely nervous robotic hand.

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