Researcher Sami Haddadin from the German Aerospace Centre Space Agency has programmed a robot that can sense when it hits some object. The invention would make industrial robots much safer to work with.
Haddadin placed sensors in the six joints of a robot arm, which was programmed to stop moving if it felt unexpected changes. Fitted with a large pad - the robot version of a boxing glove - the arm was then put to the test.
Haddadin actually allowed it to punch him in the stomach, chest, head and arm forehead and arm at speeds of up to 2.5 metres per second. It performed as expected, stopping at soon as contact was made.
Accidents at sites using industrial robots can be prevented by deploying such technology (Thaindian). Also, with more innovations heralding the use of robots in everyday life, such technologies will find more application. However, it is still debatable as to whether the gentle robot follows or contradicts Asimov's first law of robotics (Telegraph).