Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Materials science

A sense for touch

Will a sense of touch similar to that of humans ever be developed in robots? Results on the physics of friction for fingerprint-like ridges sliding across textured surfaces may lead the way to tactile robotic sensors.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The friction force.

References

  1. Dowson, D. Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. J 223, 261–273 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Wandersman, E., Candelier, R., Debrégeas, G. & Prevost, A. Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 164301 (2011).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Romano, J. M., Hsiao, K., Niemeyer, G., Chitta, S. & Kuchenbecker, K. J. IEEE Trans. Robotics http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/tro.2011.2162271 (2011).

  4. Mate, C. M. Tribology on the Small Scale: A Bottom Up Approach to Friction, Lubrication, and Wear 63–66 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Persson, B. N. J. Sliding Friction: Physical Principles and Applications (Springer, 1998).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  6. Mate, C. M., McClelland, G. M., Erlandsson, R. & Chiang, S. Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 1942–1945 (1987).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to C. Mathew Mate or Robert W. Carpick.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mate, C., Carpick, R. A sense for touch. Nature 480, 189–190 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/480189a

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/480189a

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing