‘Sensorized’ skin helps robots understand where the hell they are

Clumsy robots have been offered hope of improving their coordination after MIT researchers found a new way to help them find their bearings.

The system gives soft robots a greater awareness of their movements by analysing motion and position data through a ‘sensorized’ skin.

It works by collecting feedback from sensors on the robot‘s body. A deep learning model then analyses the data to estimate the robot‘s 3D configuration.

[Read: Scientists used stem cells to create a new life-form: Organic robots]

The sensors are comprised of conductive silicone sheets, which the researchers cut into patterns inspired by kirigami — a variation of origami that that involves cutting as well as folding paper. These patterns make the material sufficiently flexible and stretchable to be applied to soft robots.

Credit: MIT