Why Teach A Robot To Feel Pain?

/ 8 years ago

Robots feeling pain - what could go wrong

Robotics are coming along a long way with new developments creating everything from clothing based exosuits to electronics making factories, and with the concept of giant fighting robots soon to become a sport, what could possibly make the devices go terminator on us? I would say a good place to start would be Germany, where robots are being taught how to feel, or to be more specifically, to feel pain.

The new system is designed to act just like an artificial nervous system, with the scientists hoping that teaching a robot to feel pain could be used to help create the very instinctive reactions that we every day to flinch away from danger. The new system will use pressure and temperature sensors to help detect changes that could a signal when the device is about to be damaged.

The researchers from Leibniz University are hoping that the system will “be able to detect and classify unforeseen physical states and disturbances, rate the potential damage they may cause to it and initiate appropriate countermeasures, ie reflexes”. The pain will be measured as light, moderate or severe with the reflexes acting to help prevent and avoid the event. The hope is that the pain can be used to help prevent accidents while working alongside humans, saving both robots and humans pain alike.

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