Robot Punches Humans In Order To Test Pain Thresholds

Robots aren’t supposed to hurt human beings but the folks over in a robotics lab in Slovenia are using robots to do just that, though in a controlled environment and for test purposes only. The research involves using a powerful robot to hit (voluntary) human test subjects over and over again to induce anything from a mild to unbearable pain. The aim was to assess human-robot pain thresholds, and while you might think it’s just a waste of time, the researcher reminds us that robots designed to Asimov’s laws can still collide with people and they’re trying to make sure that when they do, the collision isn’t too powerful, and as such they’re trying to definite the limits of the speed and acceleration of robots, so that they may safely interact with humans. The volunteers were asked to judge, for each tool type, whether the collision was painless, mild, moderate, horrible, or unbearable. We wouldn’t want to be on the end of an unbearable pain test, but if it helps in the development of a robot to serve us in the future…

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