As reported in some previous posts, whiskers are a great sensing device for autonomous robots, because they allow to detect and categorize objects and surface textures while only lightly touching them. The latest episode of the Robots podcast takes a closer look at using Active Touch in robotic applications. Our first guest, Tony Prescott from the University of Sheffield in the UK, has been looking at how rats actively use their whiskers to sense their environment. Prescott has pursued his goals of understanding how Active Touch can be used in robotics and its role for the brain in the scope of several large European projects, such as BIOTACT and ICEA. To test models inferred from high-speed images of real rats, Prescott has been working with a rat-like robot called SCRATCHbot (see video above) developed in collaboration with the Bristol Robotics Lab. Our second guest, Elio Tuci, is working on applying active touch to more complex scenarios, such as a robot arm touching an object. Read on or tune in!