New Law Of Physics Helps Humans And Robots Grasp The Friction Of Touch

Although robotic devices are used in everything from assembly lines to medicine, engineers have a hard time accounting for the friction that occurs when those robots grip objects – particularly in wet environments. Researchers have now discovered a new law of physics that accounts for this type of friction, which should advance a wide range of robotic technologies.

“Our work here opens the door to creating more reliable and functional haptic and robotic devices in applications such as telesurgery and manufacturing,” says Lilian Hsiao, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of a paper on the work.