Our humanoid robot iCub is going to be upgraded with new touch sensors and artificial skin. First, the robot's hands will be sent to IIT where skilled technicians will install new fingertips and the skin on each forearm. Later, we will send the whole robot for a complete upgrade.
I have met today with our technician Bill, who also attended iCub technical training at IIT back in 2008. We have carefully disconnected all the wires and removed iCub's arms, which will be sent to Italy this Friday. In the meanwhile, we can keep using the remaining parts of the robot and carry on doing our research.
The video below shows how will our iCub look once the upgrade is completed. The video is also interesting because it shows the force control system utilising the new skin, which is a big advantage because one can apply force anywhere on the skin and the arm will move correctly. In contrast, the force control system that does not use skin assumes that one only applies forces at the end effectors, which are the hands/wrists.