Robots and computers are shown in science fiction as having a wide range of ways to identify what something is but generally speaking, machines don’t have much in the way of touch. That is all going to change with RadarCat, the innovation that gives machines a sense of touch.
Researchers at the University of St. Andrews have adapted Google ATAP Soli, which was developed to track micro finger motion, to identify objects and materials in the three-dimensional world. By combining the Soli sensor with their own recognition software, they have managed to train machines to tell the difference between a glass of water and a paperweight, for example.
This technology can be used for a variety of things, such as more intuitive use with our touchscreen gadgets or even in the future, alerting the wait staff as to when your glass is empty in a restaurant. Hopefully it will also make our future robot overlords more empathetic and less jealous of our full spectrum of experience. Check out the video below to see RadarCat in action.