A new touch sensor may provide support for the development of the “meta-universe”: Zuckerberg

Facebook recently officially changed its name to Meta. The company’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday that a new touch sensor and A plastic material can work together and may provide support for the development of the “meta-universe”.

Artificial intelligence researchers at Meta, together with scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, created a deformable plastic “skin” less than 3 millimeters thick.

Moreover, This relatively low-cost material is called ReSkin, and the magnetic particles inside it generate a magnetic field. When it comes into contact with other surfaces, the magnetic field from the embedded particles changes. 

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The sensor will record the change in magnetic flux and then feed the data back to some artificial intelligence software, which is responsible for analyzing the force or contact data applied.

On Monday, Zuckerberg said in a blog post: “We designed a high-definition touch sensor and created a very thin robot skin in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. This keeps us away. The physical interaction between virtual objects in reality and the meta-universe is one step closer.”

This artificial skin was tested on a robot that processes soft fruits including grapes and blueberries. This artificial intelligence system must be trained for 100 human touches to ensure that it has enough data to understand the relationship between changes in the magnetic field and touch.

This project will be published in an academic journal later this month, but it has not yet been peer-reviewed. Meta company research scientist Abhinav Gupta said in a media conference call held last Friday that touch is largely ignored by artificial intelligence researchers because touch sensors are too expensive or too fragile to obtain reliable data.

Gupta said: “You should think about the way humans or infants learn. Rich multi-modal data is crucial for developing humans’ understanding of the world. We are doing things from the perspectives of vision, sound, touch, taste, smell, etc. L

But if you look at how artificial intelligence has progressed in the past decade, we have made tremendous progress in computer vision. We have also made progress in sound: audio, speech, etc. But in this progress, touch has always been missing, although it is very critical.”

Gupta said that helping machines and robotic assistants to feel will allow them to understand what humans are doing. He also added that Meta’s ReSkin can detect forces as low as 0.1 Newtons from objects with a width of less than 1 millimeter. He said: “We will be able to try to have a better understanding of the physics behind objects.” He also added that this will help Meta’s pursuit of establishing a meta-universe.

Metaverse may be the next evolution of the Internet, or it may be the latest corporate buzzword, making investors excited about some vague innovations that may not even be realized in the next ten years.

In any case, those technology companies, especially Meta, are more and more sparing no effort to promote the concept of meta-universe, which refers to the virtual world in which you can live, work, and play. If you have watched the movie “Ready Player One” (Ready Player One), you will have a pretty good understanding of metaspace: put on a set of highly computationally capable glasses, and you will be teleported to a place where everything is possible in the digital universe.

If Meta’s meta-universe is almost achievable, then it is possible for us to interact with virtual objects and obtain a certain physical response through a piece of hardware. Gupta said: “When you wear Meta headsets, you also want to provide some sense of touch so that users can feel a richer experience. How can you provide tactile feedback, unless you know what kind of touch humans have, or Material properties, etc.?”

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