I found this on engadget:http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/12/intel-shows-off-robotic-hand-with-pre-touch-object-conformatio/
Robotics have come a long way, but they still often miss that innate, nervous sense of reluctant touch. Intel researchers have achieved something similar with a robotic hand that uses electrolocation to create a robotic hand conform to the shape of an object before interacting with it. Shown at Research@Intel Day, the hand uses fish-like electrolocation to bounce electric fields off of objects and then conform the hand to that shape in real time. They call the dynamic "Pre Touch," and it could prove useful for configuring robotics before they interact with objects without, say, damaging them or missing the interface completely. We've been aware of the technology for some time, but as you can see in the video after the break, Intel finally has something to show, and the results are what can only be described as a strangely nervous robotic hand.
Looks very cool, I wonder if this would ever become available to hobyists... financiallyI mean.