Do any of you fear being crushed underneath the cold metal of a robot in the future when they have achieved consciousness? Well, if the latter were to happen, just keep your fingers crossed that robots of the future will be made out of balloons – yes, that is right. Your eyes did not play a trick on you. We’re talking about Ph.D student Siddharth Sanan at Carnegie Mellon University who came up with various ideas to make robots safer around humans, approaching this potentially thorny issue from a different angle. His whole idea will surely make it a whole lot harder for the robot to be involved in precision control, but will definitely be a win for assistive robots that spend a lot of time interacting closely with humans. Imagine getting punched by a balloon – now that’s ticklish, and you can always blackmail a robot (is that logically possible?) with a pin prick to get it to do what you want.

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