RobotSweater, developed by a research team from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, is a machine-knitted textile “skin” that can sense contact and pressure. “With RobotSweater, the robot’s whole body can be covered, so it can detect any possible collisions,” said Liu, whose research focuses on industrial applications of robotics. RobotSweater’s knitted fabric consists of two layers of conductive yarn made with metallic fibers to conduct electricity. Once fitted to the robot’s body, RobotSweater can sense the distribution, shape and force of the contact. “The robot will move in the way that the human pushes it, or can respond to human social gestures,” Yuan said.