Robots, Knives and Soft-Tissue Injury

Robots with knives is the subject of a study by German researchers to see what would happen if robots suddenly started slashing, poking, stabbing, puncturing and cutting people. No, really.

Take a look at what happens with collision detection, using a a 7 degrees-of-freedom robot manipulator with a 1.1 meter reach and moderately flexible joints. The robot, which weighs 14 kilograms, is designed for direct physical interaction and cooperation with humans.

Robotically stab with a screwdriver at 0.64 meters per second. Then, try a steak knife at 0.64 m/sec., then scissors. What have I been saying about robots running with scissors? Then, try the whole set of trials without collision detection.

(Soft tissue injuries by robots)

The intent of this study is to understand what happens when you give robots sharp objects when in the vicinity of human beings. You're probably wondering how a scenario like this could possibly happen, outside of Futurama (see Roberto, the robot with knives, below).

(Roberto, a Futurama robot with knives)

This study was devised and executed (so to speak) by Sami Haddadin, who is rightly concerned about how robots will behave when in the company of human beings. Technovelgy readers may recall an earlier study by Haddadin to find out what happens when a robot punches a human in the face, among other similar questions.

The scenario of robots with knives is not that far-fetched. It turns out that there are a large number of cooking robots, like the Chinese AIC-CI Cookingrobot . Sooner or later, these robots will start using knives.

This is an interesting study, but there is already a Knife-Wielding Robot With X-Ray Vision in New Zealand.


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