Touchy subject: 3D printed fingertip ‘feels’ like human skin

Robotic hand with a 3D-printed tactile fingertip on the little (pinky) finger. The white rigid back to the fingertip is covered with the black flexible 3D-printed skin. Credit: Prof. Nathan Lepora

Machines can beat the world’s best chess player, but they cannot handle a chess piece as well as an infant. This lack of robot dexterity is partly because artificial grippers lack the fine tactile sense of the human fingertip, which is used to guide our hands as we pick up and handle objects.

Two papers published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface give the first in-depth comparison …
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