Thanks to the nerves in our bodies, we can do many things that a robot can’t, such as feel and taste. However, researchers over the years have been making efforts to change that, where we’re starting to see how more robots are gaining human-like abilities, such as the ability to “feel” objects to identify it.
However, now thanks to IBM, they have created a prototype device dubbed the “Hypertaste” that has the ability to “taste”. Now, robots that can taste aren’t exactly new, but the problem with previous iterations of such devices is that they are usually calibrated to detect single chemicals, meaning that they are hardly the most efficient.
What IBM researchers have done is that it relies on a combination of senses, similar to how a human’s tongue works. This effectively allows it to recognize a variety of different liquids and chemicals without having to rely on hardware that has been created specifically to identify those kinds of liquids.
This is achieved by using electrochemical sensors made up of electrode pairs, where they respond to a combination of molecules as a voltage passes through them. This signal is what creates the “fingerprint” that identifies the liquid, thus allowing the Hypertaste to recognize it. Some of the potential uses of this technology could be used for diagnostic or preventive medicine, or could even allow for the sub-grouping of trials amongst patients in drug tests.