Scientists Unveil Human-Like Hand Called the ‘Gentle Bot’

New advancement in soft robotics can handle fragile items with ease and also feel shapes and textures

December 12, 2016
Photo: Organic Robotics Lab, Cornell University

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a robot with a human-like touch that may soon be giving Ronnie the Robot a run for his money.

Called the “Gentle Bot,” this soft robot hand can both handle fragile items with care and determine the shape and texture of objects it’s holding or touching.

“Most robots today have sensors on the outside of the body that detect things from the surface,” Huichan Zhao, the lead author of the research paper about the Gentle Bot, explained in a university press release. “Our sensors are integrated within the body, so they can actually detect forces being transmitted through the thickness of the robot, a lot like we and all organisms do when we feel pain, for example.”

Researchers believe there are a plethora of uses for soft robotics advancements like the Gentle Bot, including the handling of delicate foods in warehouses and the designing of more human-like prosthetics.

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