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Tactile Interaction

This article describes a new robot that communicates with humans via touch.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/feel-what-this-robot-feels-through-tactile-expressions

If you could have “texture modules” for your Misty robot, what skills would you build to take advantage of them? How would you incorporate their ability to express internal robot state into the skill?

These “texture modules” are made of an elastomer skin that can be dynamically textured. If you could custom-make some soft robotic-skin attachment for Misty or a dynamic texture (other than the spikes or goosebumps discussed in the article), what would you make? How would you like to interact with Misty via touch?

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NOTE Their changes were done by small pre-defined areas that air is blown into.
electrical with materials can change hardness, color, and ‘muscle’ like movement
for hairs standing on end. And in theory wave form based on power.
For their air based material it could be coordinated to do rolling wave of shapes.

With Biology things are always systems based, not one reaction but the
combination of changes/expression etc makes the realistic and interpretted
understandings. A ‘smile’ is not just the mouth shape, it is the ‘tension/relax’,
it is the eyes, eye lids, and other body movements, voice inflection, etc.
(and beyond that pheromone release, scent, etc.)

NOTE: This is dream level, no expectations this week :smile:

The ‘tactile’ I can think of off hand would be things like (in combination with
‘tactile’) also:

  1. Localized Temperature (cool/cold to warm) - not really tactile but related
    - perhaps combined with color changing (think blushing)
    - combined with shiver
  2. Shifted movement of shapes:
    - like a shiver/vibration that is lighter than a motor and more directional.
    - hair follicles style - like relaxed versus standing hair as seen in animals
    showing fear.
  3. Braille - for the blind.
  4. I think with similar area color changing could be a option… current
  5. Firmness of skin
  6. Bubble hands :smile: like Hero Big Hero 6 (film) - Wikipedia
    • puff up in a softway
  7. Think of the Mars Lander (for protection also), but larger capacity
    for the ‘blow up’. https://youtu.be/kSbAUtyO7xo?t=56
  • The already mentioned cat’s hair standing, and rhythm/vibration, fear/anger blowfish
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I really like the idea of braille. The robot would be able to communicate so much more than emotions or internal state. Your suggestion makes me wonder if someday we’ll have robots that replace leader dogs for the blind!

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