Researchers for Intel are working on a robot that senses before it touches an object. The hand uses something called an electric-field proximity sensor.
In one demonstration, the robotic arm sizes up three soda bottles. Two of them are full and one is empty. Without touching them, the arm senses all three and determines which one is empty. It then knocks over the empty one.
Sounds like this could be useful for when we finally get domestic robots to clean up my messy crib.
Link via (ABC News)