In a newly published scan of the literature, an expert concludes that the time is ripe for human factors researchers to contribute scientific insights that can tackle the many challenges of human-robot interaction.
A collaborative research team has found humanoid robotics and computer avatars could help rehabilitate people suffering from social disorders such as schizophrenia or social phobia. It is thanks to the theory of similarity, which suggests that it is easier to interact socially with someone who looks, behaves or moves like us.
An amputee was able to feel smoothness and roughness in real-time with an artificial fingertip that was surgically connected to nerves in his upper arm. Moreover, the nerves of non-amputees can also be stimulated to feel roughness, without the need of surgery, meaning that prosthetic touch for amputees can now be developed and safely tested on intact individuals.
Artificial intelligence technique Quixote teaches 'value alignment' to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.
Cockroaches' ability to squeeze through the tiniest cracks has inspired a robot that can rapidly squeeze through cracks - a new capability for search-and-rescue in rubble resulting from tornados, earthquakes and explosions.
Scientists have invented a new soft gripper that uses electroadhesion: flexible electrode flaps that act like a thumb-index duo. It can pick up fragile objects of arbitrary shape and stiffness, like an egg, a water balloon or paper.