#428181 Adding social touch to robotics

A squeeze in the arm, a pat on the shoulder, or a slap in the face – touch is an important part of the social interaction between people. Social touch, however, is a relatively unknown field when it comes to robots, even though robots operate with increasing frequency in society at large, rather than just in the controlled environment of a factory. Merel Jung is conducting research at the University of Twente CTIT research institute into social touch interaction with robots. Using a relatively simple system – a mannequin's arm with pressure sensors, connected to a computer – she has succeeded in getting it to recognize sixty percent of all touches. The research is being published today in the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces scientific journal.

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