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New law of physics helps humans and robots grasp the friction of touch

Image credit: NCSU

Discovery advances a range of AI technologies

Although robotic devices are used in everything from assembly lines to medicine, engineers have difficulty accounting for the friction that occurs when robots grip objects -- particularly in wet environments. U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers have discovered a law of physics that accounts for this type of friction and may advance a wide range of robotic technologies.

"Our work opens the door to creating more reliable and functional devices in applications such as telesurgery and manufacturing," said Lilian Hsiao, a chemical and biomolecular engineer at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of a paper on the work.

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