We are developing soft skin for robots with sensitivity exceeding that of human skin. It gives information about shape, texture, normal force and shear force. The soft sensitive fingers will give robots advantages in many aspects of manipulation, whether on the factory floor or in the home. The fingers can tell the robot about the 3D pose of a grasped object, and whether the object is hard, soft, smooth, or rough. In this project we are building improved touch sensing hardware, and are developing algorithms to exploit the rich information being provided.
Ted Adelson, John Leonard