Researchers at the University of Southern California‘s Viterbi School of Engineering have developed a BioTac, a robot appendage that can outperform humans in identifying a wide range of natural materials according to their textures, paving the way for advancements in prostheses, personal assistive robots, and consumer product testing. BioTac sensor is new type of tactile sensor built to mimic the human fingertip, using a newly designed algorithm to make decisions about how to explore the outside world by imitating human strategies. Capable of other human sensations, the sensor can also tell where and in which direction forces are applied to the fingertip and even the thermal properties of an object being touched. (via Tactile sensor for better human prostheses, personal assistive robots | KurzweilAI)

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