Robots of the future may have a more human touch, thanks to researchers at Cornell University.

In a recent paper published in the journal Science Robotics, robotics engineers outlined their latest invention: a soft robot hand, known as the “Gentle Bot,” that is able to not only touch fragile items, but also to sense the shape and texture of the things it comes it contact with.

“Our human hand is not functioning using motors to drive each of the joints; our human hand is soft with a lot of sensors … on the surface and inside the hand,” Huichan Zhao, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Cornell who is the lead author of the research article about the new soft robot hand, told NPR. “Soft robotics provides a chance to make a soft hand that is more close to a human hand.”

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