Researchers from Leibniz University of Hannover are starting to cross the Uncanny Valley as they are adding another feature to robots that will make them more human-like: acknowldgement of pain. #machinemagic
Robots are defenseless because they couldn’t recognise danger… until now. Scientists demonstrated they could be programmed to at least feel pain and react as expected, if not to fully become aware of the peril they face. The team showed at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation held in Stockholm how can robots defend themselves in the future. They built an electric network behind a BioTac fingertip sensor on a Kuka robotic arm that is meant to simulate nerve pathways that exist underneath animal skin. Then, they deliberately inflicted various degrees of pain.
The robot responded accordingly; at first, he flinched at the bad sensation, only to move swiftly away from the source of pain afterwards, when the feeling increased.
If personal robots will receive this ability in the future, authorities might have to introduce laws that prevent cruelty against them, soon making them part of society.