A trio of researchers have constructed special inflatable robot graspers that allow robots to handle objects with greater care and discretion, not only allowing them to perform tasks with more reliability but also ensuring that damage to objects and people is minimized.
These robot graspers are equipped with special sensors that measure changes in air pressure that occur as the force of a grasp increases. The grasping force can be modulated, allowing the graspers to grip objects without damaging them.
The researchers hope that their inflatable robot graspers will be of extremely good use not just in robot hands, as you might expect, but also in special contact sensors that would let robots know if they were touching something (for example, a person) before doing anything to it or potentially causing it unintended harm.
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