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3D-Printed Soft Skin for Human-Robot Interaction

Researchers at Disney Research Pittsburgh have developed a soft skin module with a built-in airtight cavity in which air pressure can be sensed. A pressure feedback controller is implemented on a robotic system using this module for contact sensing and gentle grasping. The soft skin module is designed to meet size and safety criteria appropriate for a small interactive robot. All module prototypes were produced using a multi-material 3D printer. Using the measured pressure information from the module, the robotic system to which these modules are attached is capable of very gentle physical interaction with soft objects.