The folks over at the IEEE Spectrum automaton blog have posted an interesting story on research being done at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics in Germany. The researchers, including Sami Haddadin, Alin Albu-Schaffer, and Gerd Hirzinger are studying the biomechanics of soft-tissue injury caused by robots. Basically, they want to find out what happens when robots wielding steak knives, scalpels, screwdrivers, and scissors stab human flesh. Even though the robot in the video is only stabbing and slicing a block of flesh-like silicone, it's still a little creepy. The researchers used the results of their study to develop a collision detection system that minimizes injury. Their system works well enough that they show a knife-weilding robot try (not) to stab a real human arm at the end of the video. This research was presented at the recent IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation held in Anchorage, Alaska.