The new movie “Surrogates,” starring Bruce Willis, depicts a world in which people live through “surries”, highly realistic humanoid robots. But without realistic skin, robots will never have that humanlike personal touch, and will not have the degree of social acceptance that robots would need to have to share the world with the rest of us.
A recent paper details research into this area. In “Towards Humanlike Social Touch for Sociable Robotics,” John Cabibihan and his fellow scientists detailed the reasons for testing and developing realistic skin for social robots.
“Touch is important in social interactions. Social touch are all those instances in which people touch each other, when shaking hands, when giving a pat in the back as a sign of congratulations and even in high-fives. Unless some form of alternative greetings are invented in the future, the typical social touches exchanged among humans may likely remain even with social robots… more>>>