Robots can do some amazing things, such as playing basketball, but what they can't do is feel the objects they touch. Until now. It might seem like a small point — robots are, after all, non-sentient — but for anyone who has a prosthetic arm, being able to sense texture could lead to greater grip and usability.
Touch offers a vast amount of information of the world around us, a vast amount of information lost for those with prosthetics.
Researchers have now developed BioTac, a mechanical finger that has a stiff central sensor surrounded by liquid and covered in a flexible skin.
Whenever it touches a surface, vibrations are created like they would be by the ridges of the human fingerprint. Software interprets the vibrations, and it was shown to identity 117 different textures with 95 percent success.
When the battle raged in comparing textures between humans and BioTac, the latter won.
Check out the video below for more details.