GelSight Sensor Gives Robots Touch


Fingertip sensors are now to be incorporated in robots to make them adapt to changes in environment and society. Since robots are programmed to respond to similar situations in a similar way, their repeated motions just become annoying for us. That is why MIT launched and incorporated the fingertip sensors in the robots to let them “feel” the change.

However complex and sophisticated it might look, this technology is rather simple. Have you heard about GelSight? This is the phenomenon being used in the fingertip sensors. The GelSight is a smooth and rubbery textured gel like substance. Whenever it is placed or rubbed on something, it gives the ability to the object to encapsulate microscopic features of the object. In this case, if this substance is placed somewhere on the human skin, it would be able to detect the microscopic pores of the hand and act accordingly. However, MIT made sure that this material when used for robots was made a hundred times more sensitive than the actual one. This has made it possible to fit this gel onto the fingertip of human beings. Further, this gel helps give feedback regarding the robot’s surface.

The funny thing about this finger sensor robot is how the manufacturers of this technology showed off how they can have their robots plug in their USB’s to their computers. This is because we humans always put the USB in the opposite direction for the first time. It is kind of’ annoying, no? Why not have fingertip sensors do the work for us? Further, these robots are supposedly going to have more accuracy when it comes to detaching certain objects from their original conveyers and then attaching them to new ones. This means that these robots will be able to pick up objects on their own and use them. People who want to get their files arranged in office cabins without making wrong attempts really need this kind of technology. This gives independency to future generation robots. Remember, robots are not humans so they don’t make mistakes!

Source: MIT News