We are creating robots that can walk and talk like us, but now we are providing them with another human quality you will possibly not expect to happen: the ability to feel pain.
“Pain is a system that protects us. When we evade from the source of pain, it helps us not get hurt,” one of the team, Johannes Kuehn from Leibniz University of Hannover in Germany, told Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum.
With that in mind, Kuehn and his colleague Sami Haddadin are developing what they describe as an “artificial robot nervous system” for the job.
For that program to function, it requires the ability to both feeling sourced elements of discomfort (just like a fire or perhaps a knife) and see what to do about any of it (a suitable reflex action). The pair are currently employing the human nervous system as their inspiratio
They will have have examined a number of their suggestions out utilizing a robotic arm having a finger indicator that may identify temperature and pressure. It uses a ‘robot-tissue’ patch modelled on human skin to therefore, determine what course of action and just how much discomfort ought to be experienced.
If the arm feels light pain, it retracts slowly before pain stops, and then returns to its original task. Serious discomfort, meanwhile, triggers the arm to go into a kind of lock down mode until it can get help from a human operator.
Maintaining people safe is equally not as essential, Haddadin and Kuehn say, particularly once we are prone to observe more robots working alongside individual employees in the coming years – it may alert everyone if your robot is trained to determine and respond to discomfort.
“Getting robots to learn is one of the most challenging things but is fundamental because it will make them more intelligent. Learning is all about trial and error. When a child learns that falling over causes pain, it then learns to do it with more skill,” according to robotics expert Fumiya Iida of Cambridge University in the UK, who wasn’t involved in the research.
This is not the very first time scientists are determined to try and humanise robots. Earlier this year, a sponsored US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started training robots empathy through letting them read children’s books, that will be one of the many other DARPA tasks that try to create robots comprehend what’s correct and incorrect.