A researcher explores robotic devices that can "experience" human-like sensations.

As part of her studies exploring the conditions where humans can expressively interact with a robot, Patrizia Marti of the University of Siena, Italy came across a modular robot which is tickle-sensitive. The robot has a small platform on top that is covered by a pressure sensitive textile layer embedded with smart materials. It has a small screen in front that displays the appearance and reaction of the robot when it is tickled. Future developments should include voice sensing and using interactive fur for ‘petting' it.

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