Three German researchers ran a study to see what would happen if a robot played with knives around humans (creepy, gross, audio-less video after the cut). Shockingly, they found out giving robots knives could result in lethal injuries to humans. Noooooo. Surely not.
The tests involved a robot arm weighing 14kg and a 1.1m reach that was equipped with a variety of bladed household tools including a steak knife, kitchen knife, scissors and screwdriver. The robot arm was programmed to use the bladed tools to stab and cut a silicone lump, a leg from a dead pig and the arm of a human volunteer. [BBC via Arbroath]
They didn’t involve the human volunteer until after turning on the collision detection system they designed. It uses torque sensors to alert the robot to stop when it hits a different substance. Meaning you get a tiny puncture wound instead of a new giant hole for the robots to store all their Styx cassettes in. (Robots love “Mr. Roboto”.)
Ah, robot, I see you’ve played knifey spoony before.