Robots with sensitive arms for delicate assistive tasks

Now Georgia Tech and Meka Robotics researchers have developed a control method that enables a robot’s arm to make contact with objects, people, and the rest of the robot while keeping forces low.
The method  works with compliant robotic joints and whole-arm tactile sensing, and keeps the robot’s arm flexible, giving the robot a sense of touch across its entire arm.
With their control method, Kemp’s robots have performed numerous tasks, such as reaching through dense artificial foliage and a cinder block representative of environments that search-and-rescue robots can encounter, said Charlie Kemp, lead researcher and associate professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.
Kemp’s lab also has promising results that could impact the future of assistive robotics. They have developed tactile sensors made out of stretchable fabric that covers the entire arm of a robot.