This artificial skin lets robots ‘feel’ like humans can
London (CNN Business)Robots are one step closer to gaining a human sense that has so far eluded them: Touch.
Scientists last month unveiled an artificial skin that enables robots to feel and respond to physical contact, a skill that will be needed as they come in increasingly close contact with people.
In 2017, manufacturers worldwide used roughly 85 industrial robots per 10,000 employees, according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics. The same report predicts the global supply of industrial robots to grow 14% per year until 2021.
But if robots end up working more closely with their fleshy colleagues, one concern is how they will interact safely.
“Currently, robots do not have any sense of touch,” Professor Gordon Cheng, who developed the special skin with his team at the Technical University of Munich, tells CNN Business.