Robots and artificial intelligence with human-like touch: this is it new frontier of Facebook research. The artificial leather created within the ReSkin project aims to develop tactile sensitivity in machines. It must be said that the robots in circulation have acquired and improved the ability to see, move, speak, listen, manipulate objects e even to perceive the scents.
The most significant advances were made in sight and hearing, explain the researchers of Facebook (now Meta) while the touch, which helps to know and explore the environment, remains a more backward and difficult field for research.
The development of ReSkin, in collaboration with scientists from Carnegy Mellon University, aims to take a step forward in a sector that Facebook considers relevant in terms of the construction of the metaverse. The same Zuckerberg spoke on the subject, underlining its importance with a post published on the social network. ReSkin is a plastic artificial skin with a thickness of less than 3 millimeters that combined with magnetic material allows to record and significantly improve the collection of data, useful for artificial intelligence systems to be able to process and learn the sense of touch. . The ability of the technology has been demonstrated in various tests allow a machine to grab grapes and berries without damaging them and its ductility in contact with different surfaces and environments: as in the case of application to the paws of a dog to verify their tactile interaction with the ground.
Thanks to ReSkin the search has a less expensive vehicle, reusable several times and easily replaceable able to train artificial intelligence and robots to perform tasks that require greater sensitivity to touch such as healthcare activities and greater skills such as handling small and fragile objects. Facebook has also set up an open source ecosystem that includes low cost touch sensors (DIGIT), produced in partnership with MIT, simulatori (TOUCH), archives and data sets.
But ReSkin also takes on value for his own contribution to the definition of the metaverse platform. In this new dimension, the human experience of interacting with virtual objects will be enriched by the sensation of touch.