Robotics is very much more alive today than ever before. You may be familiar with Honda’s ASIMO, dubbed as “the world’s most advanced humanoid robot,” or Sophia, a social humanoid robot developed in Hong Kong.
But there’s a new robot in town, and it’s making the news. Dr. Alexander Co Abad, a 43-year-old engineer, invented a robot that could allow it to feel like how humans do, and recently won an award from a prestigious academic award-giving body in the United Kingdom.
Using a P65 silicone makeup sponge, Abad created the robot, called the HaptiTemp sensor, which is a device capable of sensing and measuring force, vibration and temperature, as well as recognizing texture. In other words, it has feelings like those of human beings.
“The human skin can recognize hot or cold temperature, rough or smooth surface, moving objects, and detect the amount of force exerted. [My sensor can do all those things.] It’s the closest thing to a human skin,” Abad said.
He added that the sensor’s first application is in metrology, or measuring texture. The robot also has another iteration which has permanent markets, and can be used for tactile sensing or calculating movement.
His research won second place at the prestigious Queen Mary UK Best PhD in Robotics Award, which was participated by PhD students from various universities in the United Kingdom.
Abad said the time will come that robots will be capable of picking fruits and vegetables, or rummaging through drawers even if they are not able to see what’s inside the drawer.