Researchers have created a system combining artificial skin with a control algorithm and used it to create the first autonomous humanoid robot with full-body artificial skin.
The artificial skin, made by Professor Gordon Cheng and his team from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, has two euro coins (about one inch in diameter) in size.
Each study is equipped with a microprocessor and sensor to detect acceleration, proximity and temperature, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the IEEE Journal.
This type of artificial skin enables robots to grasp their surrounding spaces in greater detail and with greater sensitivity.
It simply does not help them move safely. It makes it more secure to people when operating and enables them to anticipate and actively avoid accidents.
According to the survey, the biggest obstacle to the development of robot skin is always the ability to count.
There are about five million receptors on human skin. Efforts to implement continuous data processing from artificial skin sensors soon go against the limit.
Previous systems were quickly overloaded with data from just a few sensors
To overcome this problem using neuroengineering approaches, researchers do not continuously monitor skin cells, but rather through an event-based system.
This reduces processing efforts by up to 90 percent.
With the event-based approach, the study has now succeeded in applying artificial skin not dependent on any external calculation of an autonomous robot of any size.
The H-1 robot is equipped with 1,260 cells (with more than 13,000 sensors) on its upper body, arms, legs and even the soles of its feet. It gives it a new "physical sensation."
For example, with its sensitive foot, the H-1 is capable of responding to uneven floor surfaces and even balances on one leg.
With its special skin, H-1 can even hug a person safely. It's as trivial as it sounds - a robot can exert energy that injures a human seriously. The two bodies are touching different places during the hug.
"It's not as important in industrial applications, but in cases like nursing care, robots must be made for very close communication with people," Cheng explained.
"Our system is hassle-free and designed to work quickly with all kinds of robots," he said.
He added, "We are now working to create smaller skin cells with the potential for greater production."