SynTouch has developed a robot that can “feel” textures. It’s all done with a texture testing machine that allows the robot to understand a variety of the materialistic components from coarseness to coolness. The robotic fingertip rubs against the material and analyzes it in 15 different dimensions. The fingertip itself is equipped with 19 super sensitive electrodes in which a silicon skin encloses the structure. But that’s not all, saline is injected in between the space allowing the electrodes to measure the change in resistance when the finger is pressed against a surface.
The finger measures in vibrations; different materials would result in different vibration patterns. “SynTouch’s finger measures not just a material’s temperature, but its perceived temperature, by precisely measuring this rate of heat transfer.”
Why it’s hot:
It would be an incredible step for prosthetics, amputees may be able to have robotic replacements that would allow them to ‘feel’ again. It could also revolutionize online shopping, people may never have to leave home again as consumer reviews would be able to qualify the actual feel of a fabric before purchase.