Roboticists are busy working on the one key factor in human work skills -- sense of touch -- that robots to date largely lack. One of the biggest advances in this field, called haptics, to connect humans and computers is a robot that gives feedback to surgeons who repair knee joints, developed by Mako Surgical. "The surgeon still has the sense of control and can put the energy into the motion and push," says Rony Abovitz, Mako's founder. "But all of the intelligent guidance and what you thought the surgeon would normally do is done by the machine."

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