Robots have soft tactile sensor that mimics human skin

Redaction March 2th, 2021

A group of researchers at the University of Hong Kong has developed a soft tactile sensor that resembles human skin.

The equipment was inserted into the tip of a robotic forceps, which performed sophisticated tasks such as grabbing a glass cup, or an egg without breaking them. The device even managed to thread a thread through the eye of a needle.


The research opens up a range of possibilities for the use of tactile sensors and can be applied in a number of fields in robotics, such as intelligent prostheses for amputees or human-robot interactions, such as in surgical instrumentation.

The team's intention at the Department of Biomedical Engineering was to imitate one of the main characteristics of human skin, a process called shear.

It is what makes human skin feel the weight and texture of objects and allows us to adjust how we should hold each one.

Initially, the sensor will be used only on the tips of robotic clamps. But the material can easily be extended into the form of sensor sets or an electronic cover and cover the entire body of a robot.

If used in this way, the sensor may have different sensitivity ranges, just as it does with human skin in different parts of the body.

Sensational, isn't it? See more details of this research here.