Researchers at Keio University's Haptics Research Center have developed a 'real-time-avatar-robotic arm' that transmits sound, vision, and highly sensitive feelings of touch to remotely located users. This innovative touch sensitive robotic technology was reported in the October 2017 issue of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics and demonstrated at CEATEC (October 2017, Tokyo). The technology is expected to find applications in areas such as industrial manufacturing, harvesting farm produce, and nursing care.
The ST Robotics Workspace Sentry robot and area safety system are based on a small module that sends an infrared beam across the workspace. If the user puts his hand (or any other object) in the workspace, the robot stops using programmable emergency deceleration. Each module has three beams at different angles and the distance a beam reaches is adjustable. Two or more modules can be daisy chained to watch a wider area. "A robot that is tuned to stop on impact may not be safe. Robots where the trip torque can be set at low thresholds are too slow for any practical industrial application. The best system is where the work area has proximity detectors so the robot stops before impact and that is the approach ST Robotics has taken," states President and CEO of ST Robotics David Sands.