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Robot Hands gain a Gentler Touch

Robot Hands gain a Gentler Touch


TakkTile takes an existing device—a tiny barometer, which senses air pressure—and adds a layer of vacuum-sealed rubber to it, protecting it from as much as 25 pounds of direct pressure. Jentoft and co-creator Yaroslav Tenzer, a postdoctoral fellow, say that the chips can even survive a strike from a hammer or a baseball bat. At the same time, Takktile is sensitive enough to detect a very slight touch.

The result, when added to a mechanical hand, is a robot that knows what it's touching. It can pick up a balloon without popping it. It can pick up a key and use it to unlock a door.

Beyond robotics, Jentoft and Tenzer suggest that the TakkTile sensor could be used in a range of electronic devices. A toy manufacturer could make a stuffed puppy that responds to petting; a medical device designer could create a laparoscopic gripper that's gentle enough to tease apart tissue during surgery.

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Exactly what we've needed.  Can't wait to get a version of this to prototype some robotics.

Are they available yet?

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