The Ultimate Test of Human-Robot Trust

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Sweeney Todd is a fictional Victorian barber, featured in a 2007 Tim Burton film, who would homicide his clients utilizing a straight razor. Skynet is a fictional killer AI from the Terminator motion pictures that introduced humanity doom with killer robots.

One very courageous roboticist is engaged on a area that dangerously intersects these two fictional portrayals. John Peter Whitney, of Northeastern University College of Engineering, has been testing robotic shavers.

RELATED: SCIENTISTS MAKE A SOFT ROBOT HAND SO SOFT IT CAN HANDLE A JELLYFISH

This is most undoubtedly not one thing it is best to attempt at house. Thankfully, nonetheless, Whitney has documented his progress for us, so we will watch with our fingers protecting our eyes.

An in depth shave

It is essential to level out that the robotic Whitney makes use of in his demonstration just isn’t autonomous, although he and a workforce from Northeastern University intention to make use of the findings to additional the sphere of robotics for makes use of similar to surgical procedure and drugs.

An operator was in full management of the blade always, utilizing a remote robot arm as could be seen within the video beneath — the motion begins at about 23:40.

So fortunately, the Skynet challenge is off the desk in the meanwhile, however what’s stopping the distant shave demonstration going all Sweeney Todd? Firstly, Whitney put his life within the — robot-controlling — fingers of a really succesful skilled barber named Jesse Cabbage from Somerville, Massachusetts’ Dentes Barbershop.

Secondly, the robotic arm makes use of high-fidelity suggestions. Whitney has beforehand labored on a novel fluidic actuator system, which carefully resembles a teleoperated hydraulic transmission. The system makes use of tubes containing water to transmit forces from a major stage to a secondary stage, permitting for a really responsive management for the operator.

Remote Razor Shaving: The Ultimate Test of Human-Robot Trust
Source: John Whitney/YouTube

Importantly, forces could be pushed again by the tubes to the operator’s hand. So, on this case, the barber can really feel the straight razor pushing in opposition to Whitney’s face, permitting him to use simply the correct quantity of pressure, simply as if he have been shaving the person himself.

Medical and rehabilitation robots of the long run

So will robotic straight razor shavers be a factor sooner or later? Maybe — although we can’t be utilizing them any time quickly. The purpose right here, nonetheless, was to display how fluidic actuators can be utilized in medical settings as they permit for very exact work to be accomplished with sharp instruments.

The robotic arm’s delicate contact permits for a wealth of alternatives: “these traits and behaviors are especially interesting for applications where we must interact with delicate and uncertain environments,” Whitney informed IEEE Spectrum.

Whitney talked about, “Medical robots, assistive and rehabilitation robots, and exoskeletons, and shared-autonomy teleoperation for delicate tasks,” as potential particular makes use of.

A paper, which fits into extra element on the system and its particular use for exploring MRI-compatible distant needle biopsy, tiled “Series Elastic Force Control for Soft Robotic Fluid Actuators,” is accessible on arXiv.

Last 12 months, we reported on a newly-developed self-aware robotic arm that may acknowledge and restore itself. Please, simply please, do not mix that with the sharp-tool wielding robotic arm. What’s that we have been saying about Skynet once more?

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