Robotic arm now reads feeling of ‘touch’

2013-10-16 16:42

Robotic arm now reads feeling of ‘touch’

By Ko Dong-hwan

American scientists have developed a robotic arm that can read tactile senses, helping people to recognize objects that they touch through the arm. Sensors attached to the arm “imitate” the pressure applied, enabling the person doing the touching to recognize the object. The arm can control the amount and timing of electric currents passing through the sensors at the moment of touching. When the sensors’ readings are sent to hundreds of electrodes planted in the person’s brain as packets of cognitive signals, the person can interpret the signals.  “Making people believe as if they were feeling through their fingers by sending signals from the robotic arm sensors to electrodes planted at brain is no longer an impossible dream,” said Chicago University’s Dr. Sliman Bensmaia, who led the research. Scientists have already devised robotic arms and legs that can recognize signals that enable the limbs to “think and move.” But tactile perception capability is a major breakthrough, overcoming the challenge of sending signals in a reverse order. Dr. Bensmaia’s paper, titled “Spatial and temporal codes mediate the tactile perception of natural textures,” was posted online at the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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