Trash-sorting robot mimics complex human sense of touch

Researchers are breaking through the difficulties of robotic recognition of various common, yet complex, items. Their layered sensor is equipped with material detection at the surface and pressure sensitivity at the bottom, with a porous middle layer sensitive to thermal changes. An efficient cascade classification algorithm rules out object types in order, from easy to hard, starting with simple categories like empty cartons before moving on to orange peels or scraps of cloth.

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