Tokyo: Long-distance lovers may soon be able to hold hands while video chatting!
Japanese researchers are developing a warm and life-like robotic hand that allows you to shake or hold hands with the person at the other end of a video conference call.
The haptic robotic hand mimics the feel of a real human hand and is being developed by Hideyuki Nakanishi, an associate professor of adaptive machine systems at Osaka University, along with his colleagues Kazuaki Tanaka and Yuya Wada.
The system works with two robotic hands and a video teleconferencing system. Each person grasps a haptic robotic hand, which stands in for their own arms. Unlike other robotic hands, these are warm and lifelike, researchers said.
Each hand contains wires pulled by a servomotor, extending and contracting the fingers and thumb. A spring inside the wire generates a constant grip force, `Discovery News` reported.
The fingers are covered in urethane gel while the palm has urethane sponge to replicate the feeling of a real human hand, according to the researchers.
Nakanishi`s team had test subjects compare the robotic handshake with other scenarios, including one where the subject sees a presenter`s hand above the robotic one, and another without any robotics.
With the two-way robotic hand, subjects said they felt more like they were shaking hands with a friendly presenter in the same room.
The team is presenting the system at the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Toronto.