28 SERVO 07/08.2018
ROBOTS HAVE FEELINGS TOO
Guy Hoffman’s Human-Robot Collaboration & Companionship (HRC2) Lab at Cornell University
is working on a new robot that’s designed to
investigate the concept of textural communication,
which really hasn’t been explored in robotics all that
much. The robot uses a pneumatically powered
elastomer skin that can be dynamically textured with
either goosebumps or spikes which should help it
communicate more effectively — especially if what it’s
trying to communicate is, “Don’t touch me!” (Anything
that grows spikes, for example, probably prefers not to
The robot has two texture modules (one on each
side) which are designed to be gripped while
interacting with it. Each texture module consists of
multiple texture units arranged in a grid, all of which
actuate at the same time.
The texture units are made of hollowed out elastomers connected to each other through a network
of internal channels that can be
filled with pressurized air. Adding
air causes the texture units to
inflate, popping up above the
surface of the texture module to
form shapes that can be both
seen and felt.
SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE
EMYS™ by Flash Robotics is a friendly robotic head that teaches kids ages 3-7 foreign languages through fun interactions. This age range is
the optimal time to learn a second language.
EMYS appeals to multiple senses, and uses language children already
know via their favorite cartoons, toys, and items from their
surroundings. He can move, speak, recognize faces, and express emotions
— which fosters bonding.
EMYS is currently equipped to teach English and Spanish. Additional
language support is in development.