Robots That Feel Pain

Tristian Greene for The Next Web:

A team of scientists from Cornell University recently published research indicating they’d successfully replicated proprioception in a soft robot. Today, this means they’ve taught a piece of wriggly foam how to understand the position of its body and how external forces (like gravity or Jason Vorhees’ machete) are acting upon it.

The researchers accomplished this by replicating an organic nervous system using a network of fiber optics cables. In theory, this is an approach that could eventually be applied to humanoid robots – perhaps connecting external sensors to the fiber network and transmitting sensation to the machine’s processor – but it’s not quite there yet.