I suspect the "hand" could be made more usable and easier to control by a human being if there were 10 digits on one "hand". That way, two human hands could be used as the controllers and there would be no need to relearn manual dexterity. (Since all the digits are connected to a single wrist, it might "feel" like using two hands connected with handcuffs). A separate second "hand" on the robot could be used when working on large objects that required the two hands to be separated. If the 5 spare digits on each robot hand were retracted, they could be operated by two human hands in the separated mode. Obviously autonomous robots wouldn't be constrained by the desirability of mapping to the human handler.
Yes "touch recognition"--officially called haptic feedback--is an active area of research worldwide. In fact, I have heard rumors that the iPhone 6 will have haptic feedback when you touch certain parts of the screen.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.