A group of engineers from Osaka University (Japan) has developed a robotic limb for remote handshakes. Comfortable bodily contact is provided by imitation of the muscular effort of the operator, its temperature and even tactile sensations of human skin, the coating of a robotic arm is very similar to the present.
The developers complained that traditional video conferences systems do not allow to broadcast the image of a person in full size, which is why a feeling of real contact is lost. A robotic hand that you can shake is called to somehow compensate for this omission and make communication more natural. Based on the results of preliminary tests, the authors of the project became clear that the imitation of the real hand is mainly provided by three aspects: the texture of the coating, the surface temperature and compression power.
To simulate tactile sensations, the authors used a silicone coating imitating human skin, as well as a sponge that imitates subcutaneous tissues and muscles, and the film heater provides limbs of the necessary temperature. Some difficulties arose from the latter, at the first stages the developers provided the surface temperature of artificial skin at 32 degrees Celsius, like a normal human hand, but in practice this was not enough, the hand seemed cold. A comfortable sensation was achieved at 37 degrees.
As for the compression force, for a believable sensation it was decided to make the machine interactive, and the robotic palm was equipped with sensors, thanks to which a natural dynamic effort is imitated. The authors plan to install such hands on television -owned robots, which now consist mainly of cameras, displays, microphones and speakers. Simple handshake, according to the authors, will make the effect of the remote presence of a more human.