CMC Technology Development Ltd. brought a platoon of robots called Robockle (which look like garbage bins to me) to demonstrate their carbon microcoil sensor technology. They’re looking to commercialize the sensor, which integrates 1-10 micrometer carbon coils in silicon (which detect conductive materials or living organisms even without contact) with traditional ultrasonic sensors. The ultrasonic sensor helps detect objects at a distance, but when in direct contact the CMC sensor can measure the direction of and force of friction. CMC Technology claims that if mounted on the surface of a robot, the sensors could reproduce the delicate tactile sense of human skin.
[source: Robonable (JP)]