Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Robots to acquire advance sense of touch

 AiFoam is an elastic substance that gives robots a sense of touch.

image/ news.yahoo

The National University of Singapore has invented a type of "smart foam" that recognizes items without having to contact them.

AiFoam, a "smart foam" invented by a research team at the National University of Singapore (NUS), mimics the human sense of touch. Robots might be programmed to recognize adjacent items without having to touch them in this way.

AiFoam is an elastic polymer that can expand up to 230 percent without breaking, according to its creators. The substance was created by combining fluoropolymer and a surface tension-reducing surfactant. The "foam" manages to break into parts and reunite into a single piece because to these features.

Without breaking, AiFoam can stretch up to 230 percent. Without breaking, AiFoam can stretch up to 230 percent.

The university revealed the invention in May of this year. However, the study's findings were previously published (in November 2020) in the journal Nature Communication.

The researchers wanted to "show that it is possible to reproduce the human sense of touch in a robot" with this device. "Our research offers up a new paradigm in human-machine interaction for future applications," they claim.

Microscopic particles have been introduced into the foam in order for it to detect the presence of an object (much like a human's finger). According to the researchers, this allows AiFoam to sense the presence of a human by detecting the presence of human fingers millimeters away without touching them.

The nerve endings in the skin can be mimicked to detect human presence without touching. AiFoam conceals little cylinder-shaped electrodes beneath the foam that is apparent to the naked eye.

The electrical characteristics of the particles alter as the finger approaches. This change is detected by the electrodes, which are then interpreted by a computer.

The robot can determine the direction of the applied force or the quantity of force by using this idea. AiFoam also helps robots to get closer to human interactions, with a robot being able to detect when an object in contact is slipping.

This material could be used in prostheses or industrial equipment that requires high-precision machinery in the future.

Curated by Gerluxe

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