Guy Hoffman’s Human-Robot Collaboration & Companionship (HRC2) Lab at Cornell University is working on a new robot that’s designed to investigate this concept of textural communication, which really hasn’t been explored in robotics all that much. The robot uses a pneumatically powered elastomer skin that can be dynamically textured with either goosebumps or spikes, which should help it communicate more effectively, especially if what it’s trying to communicate is, “Don’t touch me!”
The “skin” has different pneumatic modes to indicate rounded or pointed textures.
Eyes that move, facial expressions, changes in color, or “ruffled plumage” all convey how a robot might be experiencing its environment at a particular moment.
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