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The robots are coming

from Engineering on the Edge

Mankind has been fascinated by robotics since ancient times when myths told of bronze guardians and the Greek god of blacksmiths, Hephaestus, building mechanical servants. We've come a long way from the clockwork automatons built in Archytas and Lu Ban to the industrial robots common in today's factories. However, we've always fallen short of the sci-fi robots that would help us with our daily tasks ... until now. One robotic challenge is that machines can't "feel" very well. Stanford University researchers have created a thin film pressure sensor that can stretch or compress and measure that force. Created from single-wall carbon nano-tubes, this "artificial skin" could be used on robots to allow them to have a sense akin to touch. more

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