Now PR2 doesn’t only fold your socks, but also doesn’t crush your bones when you shake its hand. PR2 by Willow Garage has been a robot in the spotlight since its creation in late-2006 by ex-Google employee Scot Hassan. PR2 has pooped up in the media a few time throughout the years, and he finds himself the subject of headlines once again with his new sense of tactile information.
Joe Romano, a PhD student from the Penn Haptics Group, spent his summer incorporating tactile “sensations” by using the human senses as an inspiration. Before his newest feature was enabled, PR2 would smash anything he was asked to carry, whether it be a soda can, an egg or grandma’s hip. The robot now stops its grip once it “feels” an object in its grasp. It even incorporates a slipping mechanism that can tell when the object is slipping from its grip.