Robotic Sense and Feel

As you may have already noticed, us writers of Wondergressive are obsessed with robots, and when new news of robotic improvements surface, you better believe that we are reading about those new developments with both vigor and ecstasy. Most of the time.

Anyway, there was early talk of a bionic hand that can feel and transmit the sense of touch to the user. It is being developed later this year so it seems the technology is finally surfacing! Amazingly, the bionic hand is getting an additional upgrade: it will soon be able to dig in your pocket (get your mind out of the gutter) to find the right amount of change needed for the toll booth you are sitting at. Soon, very soon.

Researchers of the Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology have created and successfully used a robotic arm which identifies items based on how each object feels. This new robot can maneuver around an area to reach a certain goal; even when lightly coming in contact with structures or objects the robot simply redirects its movement to get to the goal. The idea is to allow the robot to move without too much force when coming in contact with humans at a workplace, or when searching for an item that is out of the robot’s viewpoint. In this way, the robot does not have to be completely careful and can still gently come in contact with objects. Without damaging anything, it can then continue its work by redirecting its movements.

With this new robotic arm, robots could potentially be used to assist the elderly and handicapped in daily routines. Or what about those dangerous and sensitive rescue missions that need delicate care and specific precautions? Robots everywhere!

The best part? The researchers have made the robot’s “feel” skin as well as the robot’s software open source and readily available for all others working on and interested in robotics.

So why not move forward with this technology to better our lives? Why not find ways to better our AI counterparts? Why not become cyborgs that don’t feel emotion, are as strong as Metallo with evil intent, and (matrix spoiler) enslave our fellow human breatherin after a grueling war of humans and AI where the sun is blotted out in order to stop the machines from getting energy from the sun but it backfires and we humans lose the war only to become the machines’ new source of energy? Okay maybe not any of that cyborg spiel but instead the creation of a real bicentennial man.

As before and always thereafter, the singularity is nigh upon us!




Reaching in clutter with whole arm tactile sensing

Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech

Wondergressive: Bionic Hand That Can Feel

Wondergressive: The Singularity is Nigh Upon Us

Wondergressive: Kid Allergic to Everything Attends School

Wondergressive: Cyborg Lobsters Power a Digital Watch

Wikipedia: Metallo

Bicentennial Man

Power Posing Can Change Your World

High power pose
Photo Credit:

Power posing is a form of body language. With just two minutes in a confident, powerful stance one can change his or her attitude and the way he or she interacts with the world around them. In this TED talk Amy Cuddy discusses a research report from Psychological Science about power posing. In the study some subjects assumed a power pose for 2 minutes while others assumed passive or neutral poses. The subjects then went through a rigorous interview process to test their interactions. The research’s findings reports:

Humans and other animals express power through open, expansive postures, and they express powerlessness through closed, contractive postures.

These power relations are complimentary, with people naturally adjusting themselves during interactions so that one person assumes a more powerful role while the other person takes on a submissive role. The research shows that the subjects who assumed high-power stances acted more confident and relaxed during their stressful interview. The report states that:

High power pose
Photo Credit:

High-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern. In short, posing in displays of power caused advantaged and adaptive psychological, physiological, and behavioral changes, and these findings suggest that.

Cuddy gives an intriguing talk about the science behind it and her personal story of pretending to belong until she realized one day she finally did. She says of the study:

Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves. Our bodies change our minds.

This research could have amazing implications for people who lack the confidence to confront people and/or have discussions. Just two minutes of high-power posing is all that’s required to gain the confidence needed to approach a scary boss, a bossy mom, or that obstinate roommate. Be timid no more! Go forth and achieve your dreams; awaken the power that is already within you!




TED Talk- Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Amy Cuddy

Psychological Science- Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance

Working Knowledge- Power Posing: Fake It Until You Make It

Harvard Business Review- Just Because I’m Nice, Don’t Assume I’m Dumb