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Rob Spiegel
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A little touch of robot
Rob Spiegel   10/11/2013 7:15:53 AM
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This is a nice move forward for robotics. While it may take robots further along the uncanny valley (the weirdness we feel when presented with human-like robots), it certainly makes robots more useful in human-robot interactions.

Charles Murray
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Re: A little touch of robot
Charles Murray   10/11/2013 5:52:03 PM
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One of the inimitable features of the human arm is its capacity for simultaneously doing heavy work with a soft touch. If this technology can enable a robot to do both, then it would be capable of doing all kinds of things in the home, such as lifting small chldren or elderly adults who have fallen. Sound like a great step forward for the factory or the home.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A little touch of robot
Rob Spiegel   10/14/2013 8:37:44 AM
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That's a very good point, Chuck. My guess is that this technology will be proven out in industry long before we see it in the home.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A little touch of robot
Rob Spiegel   10/14/2013 8:37:44 AM
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That's a very good point, Chuck. My guess is that this technology will be proven out in industry long before we see it in the home.

Elizabeth M
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Re: A little touch of robot
Elizabeth M   10/14/2013 4:18:38 AM
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Thanks for this post. I read about this technology before and found it quite interesting with lots of potential applications. Robots will never be just like humans, of course, but I think the closer we can get to giving them some key human-like qualities, the more useful they can be in certain applications. This is one example.

Battar
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Re: A little touch of robot
Battar   10/14/2013 8:53:42 AM
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I disagree with you, Elizabeth. A robot is a machine with a degree of autonomy, not a mechanized human substitute. Providing them with human-like qualities can be more of a hinderence than a help - it over-complicates them. It also helps us forget that they are nothing but machines, and the more predictable they are, the safer they are. You really don't want to see your Roomba going off at a tangent and chasing the dog out of the living room, do you?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A little touch of robot
Rob Spiegel   10/14/2013 2:09:02 PM
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I agree, Elizabeth. But it's also exciting to see robots extend into so many other areas, from replicating animal movement to activities that are very functional without mimicking the movements of humans or animals.

Elizabeth M
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Re: A little touch of robot
Elizabeth M   10/15/2013 3:51:24 AM
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Oh I completely agree with you, Rob. In general I think robotic research is one of the most exciting areas right now in terms of innovation. There are some very clever people at work and it's constantly blowing my mind what they're coming up with!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A little touch of robot
Rob Spiegel   10/15/2013 3:30:33 PM
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It's true Elizabeth. Robots are getting exciting -- much like 3D printing, only robots have a much deeper history. I would imagine robotics will be an fascinating field for decades to come.

Charles Murray
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Re: A little touch of robot
Charles Murray   10/15/2013 7:11:11 PM
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Good point, Rob. I used to watch sci-fi movies and think the robot scenarios depicted in them were hundreds of years in the future. But I'm now starting to think that depictions in movies like "I, Robot" may not be as far into the future as I thought.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A little touch of robot
Rob Spiegel   10/15/2013 10:39:16 PM
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Chuck, Bicentenniall Man may be the most extreme of the robot movies, since the robot eventually is engineered to be human. But who knows, even that may be possible in two hundred years.

Debera Harward
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Re: A little touch of robot
Debera Harward   10/15/2013 4:48:24 AM
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I agree Rob, Tactile sensing is any device that can sence shape, temperature, softness, texture etc either by touch or by contact is said to have tactile sensing . Thats Realy great to hear that robotic field is moving in this direction , initially robots were just used as acting like animals or designed to do certain  works only but this field is now expanding like the field of computers and mobile has expanded .We all know initially the only usage of mobile was Just making calls but now one can only imagine these smartphones having plenty of applications. Sitting now and making assumptions how these robotic technology will expand is just useless because one cannot even imagine the new innovations that can come across in this technology.

Debera Harward
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Re: A little touch of robot
Debera Harward   10/15/2013 5:12:58 AM
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The ability to touch and feel has always differentiated humans with robots but now in the comming years this difference or gap will be eliminated as the development of robot with sence of touch will increase . With this add on feature in robots it will help them to carry things and place them in proper position caefully applying the required load weight or preasure otherwise these robots will either break the object carried or can damage  the location where object is placed if too much load applied .

With this tactile sensing feature robots can very commonly be used in remote ssurgeries as well because they can feel the very delicate veins and organs and will do the needfull accordingly .

Elizabeth M
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Re: A little touch of robot
Elizabeth M   10/16/2013 3:32:22 AM
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You make a good point, Debera--that in tandem with increasing the tactility of robots there also is work and research being done to ensure they don't apply too much pressure when they touch something. This is equally important to this work being successful.

Debera Harward
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Re: A little touch of robot
Debera Harward   10/16/2013 5:24:05 AM
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Elizebeth , not only this there are numerous applications of humanoid robots . One of the major and most eye capturing application can be in the wars. Humaoid robots can even work as soldiers because its easier  to train them as compared to nomal robots they are programed in such a way that only by watching humans they learn and grab the informtion.

Debera Harward
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Re: A little touch of robot
Debera Harward   10/16/2013 5:28:29 AM
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As humanoid robots can be used as soldiers in the army during war but it is not possible that the total completely rely on humanoid soldiers . Both humans and humanoid robots shouild worki hand in hand and with good synchronization, for this they are required to have strong communication bethween both . A robot warrior should easily understand the body language of humans and humans automatically should understand what exactly the robot is thinking using body language of the robot instead of studying the code

Elizabeth M
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Re: A little touch of robot
Elizabeth M   10/21/2013 4:29:13 AM
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I know of a number of robots the military is working on but I never really thought of robot soldiers, Debera. I can see your point, but it also sounds a little bit scary! Although the adaptive capability of robots--which is being demonstrated by the Baxter factor robot--is quite a fascinating area of research.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A little touch of robot
Rob Spiegel   10/15/2013 3:42:42 PM
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I agree Debera. Some of these humanoid robots now have actual useful functions. A number of robots are now being used both to treat autism and diagnose autism. I asked one of the engineers what the robot does if the child throws it across the room (I have an autistic child -- I know about throwing things across the room). The engineer said the robot will say, "If you behave like this I won't be able to play with you." If the child persists, the robot, indeed, does shut down.

big2thumbs
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Iron
dejavu
big2thumbs   10/14/2013 9:01:07 AM
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I designed the same thing while at Sarcos in 1993.  It was a DARPA project putting tactile sensor on the robotic hand that we had developed previously.  Each of the 3 finger segments had arrays of squishy silicone bumps with floating couplers that deflected when pressure was applied.  That displacement was sensed by a capacitance sensor.  

It's funny how technologies recirculate after 20 years.

It worked quite well (for the stardards of the day) but it didn't make it to any mass production.

apresher
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Tactile sensing
apresher   10/14/2013 4:27:51 PM
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No question that tactile sensing is very important robotics technology, and there seems to be many interesting developments in this area.  It's harder to imagine what applications would enable the technology to be used in consumer applications because of costs.

apresher
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Link to interesting Slate article
apresher   10/14/2013 4:31:09 PM
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