Scientists are trying to develop artificial skin to give robots a sense of touch. There are those who think that this development, which provides usage opportunities in many areas, is unnecessary.
Robots, which we encounter in almost every area of life, are gaining new features every day with the help of developing technology. One of the biggest differences that differentiates people from physically used or life-threatening situations, including the simplest jobs, is that they do not have feelings including touch.
This situation, which is a deficiency for robots, limits the benefits of these machines for us. However, this shortcoming may become a thing of the past, because scientists working in different parts of the world try to give the robot a sense of touch with the help of artificial skin.
The main reason for the acceleration of studies in this field is the rise in automation. It is stated that there are currently 3 million robots in the industry sector. By 2023, this number is expected to increase by about 10% on an annual basis. As such, it is estimated that by 2030, these robots will be able to do the work of 20 million people.
John Yiannis Aloimonos, who works in this field and works at the Computer Department of the University of Maryland, said about the works in the field of artificial skin: “Artificial skin enables robots to perceive their environment in a more detailed and sensitive manner. In this way, the machines can move much more safely and allow them to move more carefully when working with people.” used expressions.
It is stated that with the development of technology in this field, robots can react to non-verbal stimuli and these can be combined with senses such as vision and hearing. Daniela Rus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer and Artificial Intelligence Division Manager, said that thanks to the feedback that people receive, we know that we have more information about our environment and that we have adjusted our movements in line with these data, and robots can react similarly one day.
Artificial skin is not only developed for use in industry
Of course, it would be wrong to think of all these developments at the industrial level. In countries such as the USA, whose population is rapidly aging, it is foreseen that the activities such as elderly care will be used more than robots. It will be possible to benefit from these machines, which are utilized in works that require power, in more “sensitive and humane” activities in the future.
In addition to having the human feelings of robots, they are also trying to look like people in appearance. Even live skin studies have been carried out in this area. In this way, it is thought that people can make robots a part of their lives more easily. However, this issue is unfortunately a dream and a forced way of thinking in the opinion of some experts.
According to Brian Gerkey, CEO of Open Robotics, the gold standard human and animal skin for such efforts. Gerkey’s statement on the subject was, “As far as I know, we do not have the technology to produce human or animal skin.” Already Gerkey stated that he found the idea that robots should be like human beings to be accepted by humans, while arguing that the thesis that we had such an expectation was the result of a forced discussion.
Cost is also a problem for people who continue their work to give robots a sense of touch. As the hardware costs needed for the manufacture of the technology in question are very high, it seems that the priority will be for the manufacturers to cover the hands and arms of the robots with artificial skin. With companies such as Orchestrator Uipath, Open Robotics and Invento Robotics, which aim to facilitate people’s lives by developing robotic automation, robots are getting more and more humanized day by day.