Nowadays, anywhere people go, there seems to be at least a single robot that can be seen. Mostly they are utilized in health care systems wherein they spend 18% to 40% of their life taking care of patients.
Due to the demand, scientists have also leveled up by developing personal care robots that brush patients' hair to provide relief and help. This technology is nothing new as there has been a self-care robot before that helps in hair-washing, shaving, and makeup.
According to an article in ScienceBlog, tech giant Panasonic has even built a robot in 2011 that could wash, massage, and blow-dry hair. However, hair-combing robots are not often explored.
The Mechanism Behind the HairCombing Hair
Scientists from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Harvard University's Soft Math Lab developed a robotic arm that has a hairbrush with sensors, according to a news release by MIT.
This robot has a camera that serves as its eye to see and assess curliness to provide appropriate hair care, such as to plan a delicate and time-efficient hair combing.
The robot can handle different degrees of tangling in the fiber brunch and tested it by brushing a RoboWig that ranges between straight to very curly hair.
CSAIL postdoc Josie Hughes and her team represented the entangled hair as DNA strands with double helices. The granularity level provided insights into mathematical models and control systems to manipulate soft fibers that can be used in the textile industry, animal care, and other industries that involve fiber.
Hughes said that by creating a model of entangled hair, they could simulate how hair could get entangled, something that people have learned through experience but can now be applied to inform a hair combing robot.
A Hair Combing Robot Untangles Hair
Every hair is different, which means that it involves different techniques in untangling different kinds of hair. The incorrect strategy of untangling could cause so much pain and may lead to damaged hair.
According to TechXplore, the team's hair combing robot has soft bristles and a sensor brush that is attached to the robotic arm that will enable the scientists to measure the forces while brushing the RoboWig.
They combined it with a closed-loop control system that takes feedback from the output and performs an action even without the help of humans, creating a "force feedback" from the brush, so the length of the stroke takes into account the pain and the amount of time it took to brush the hair.
Initial tests on several wigs of different hairstyles were successful, which provided insights on the behaviors of combing and how to untangle hair most efficiently and effectively.
They are planning to test the hai combing robot on humans to better understand how it will perform concerning their experience of pain.
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