Delft University of Technology graduate Rob Scharff designed a robotic limb that responds to human touch. Although the idea of a robot responding to a person is nothing new, Scharff has found a way to improve robot-human interactions by using tactile materials.
Scharff's device is a soft robotic hand that mimics the tactile element of human interactions. While most robots are made from rigid materials that force them to make unnatural movements, Scharff's design features soft materials. Beyond its soft touch, the robotic limb is also characterized by its biological design. Each element of the hand is designed to mimic human muscles and provide a more natural interaction. As Scharff explains, "This shaking of hands is used as a metaphor to show how the technology can be used to improve human-robot interaction."
Scharff's unique design presents a new way of thinking about the materials used to make devices such as prosthetics and orthotics.
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