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A new tactile sensor has been developed for use with robot hands. It is composed of a light-emitting diode (LED) matrix, a photo detector matrix, and a pressure-receiving section piled upon each other. According to this new development, the distortion of the pressurereceiving section is detected with a combination of the LED's and photo detectors, and the resultant output of the photo detectors is processed for determination of a pressure distribution. A prototype sensor has a matrix of 15 x 15 elements, arranged 2 mm on centers, and is capable of detecting up to 500 g/cm² of pressures with an accuracy of ± 5 percent full scale.