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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2015;2015:7402-5. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2015.7320102.

Artificial nociception and motor responses to pain, for humans and robots.


This concept paper describes nociception and the role of pain in humans. Understanding the mechanisms of pain can give insight into the implementation of artificial pain for robots. Identification of noxious contacts could help robots to elicit reactions in order to avoid or minimize damage to the robot and the environment. The information processing of artificial pain can also be used to optimally regulate incoming sensory information and prevent accidents or real pain to the users of robotic systems and prostheses, improving the performance of robots and their interaction with human users. Besides the applications of artificial nociception for robotic manipulation and intelligent prostheses, the development of computational models of pain mechanisms for the discrimination of noxious stimuli from innocuous touch can find crucial clinical applications, addressing the vulnerable non-verbal population who are unable to report pain.

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