The handshake has become the most acceptable and favorable gesture of greeting in many cultures. In FIRA RoboWorld Congress 2009, held in the Ramada Songdo Hotel in Incheon Metropolitan city on Aug. 16 to 18, 2009, there were bunch of people who want to transfer this most acceptable gesture to a robot’s arms. John-John Cabibihan, professor of the National University of Singapore, gave a speech about Handshake Experiments and Finger Phalange Indentations in order to actualize the social touch abilities of prosthetics and sociable robots.
Imitating the soft hand which has been shown in his presentation, will have a lot of potential contributions for our society, such as improving the emotional healing process of people who have lost their hands by enabling them to use a prosthetic hand even during a handshake. During the presentation, he described how it would be possible to design synthetic skins with humanlike skin softness. This will also enable sociable robots of the future to exchange greetings with humans.
One of the critical requirements of robot technology is the soft humanlike robotic interface for more natural human-robot interaction. “Our approach will be able to address the safety and acceptance issues of robotic hands, and the experiments will be conducted to obtain the benchmark data for many fields including duplication with synthetic skin,” John said in closing his presentation.