Electrolocation Robotic Hand Has PreTouch

Take a look at this robotic hand using electrolocation (also called electroreception) to figure out the position of the object to be grasped. It's what an electric eel would design - if an electric eel could grasp the concept of fingers and thumbs.


(Video of robotic hand electrolocation)

The thing that I find most amazing about this robotic hand is that it succeeds so well using a means of perception that is alien to human beings.

The robotic hand described above has what you might call an active electrolocation sense. The tips of its fingers emit weak electrical impulses that objects interfere with; this provides the hand with enough information to grasp the object. Certain fish have a natural version of this; the fish generates a weak electric field and then uses electroreceptor organs to detect distortions in the field. Aquatic creatures do it better because water is a better conductor than the medium we live in (air).

Most robots struggle with machine vision, the same sense that we humans use effortlessly to find objects and grasp them. This robotic hand uses a different sense - and succeeds amazingly well.

The Intel researchers who created the electrolocation robotic hand call this ability "PreTouch."

I don't have a direct sfnal precursor for this idea, but consider the early reference to a robotic hand that uses touch feedback in Robert Heinlein's 1956 story The Door Into Summer.

Hands I could order from the atomics-engineering equipment companies who supplied Hired Girl's hands, only this time I would want the best, with wide-range servos and with the delicate feedback required for microanalysis manipulations and for weighing radioactive isotopes...

The ears I could buy from any of a dozen radio-TV houses - though I might have to do some circuit designing to have his hands controlled simultaneously by sight, sound, and touch feedback the way the human hand is controlled.
(Read more about Heinlein's robotic hands)

I also note in passing that "pretouch" goes well with the phildickian ideas of precrime and prethink.

Here is a fistful of mechanical hands for you to grasp.

Via Robotic Hand Uses Shark-like "Sixth Sense" to Find Its Grip.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/12/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.' - HG Wells, 1898.

I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...' - EM Forster, 1911.

Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.' - Isaac Asimov, 1954.

It's Time For Robots With Soft, Sensitive Skin
Sure, solid metal skin robots looked great once - like in science fiction movies of the 1920's.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...'

Pub Installs Electrified Fence Around Bar
'I start twelve immensely strong wires--naked, not insulated --from a big dynamo...'

What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
'All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures...'

BioVYZR Is Ready, Anti-Covid19 PAPR Lovers
'Some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.'

Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'

Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.

Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'

Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'

Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'

I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... '

OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.

Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'

Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'

Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.