Jan 16, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

GelSight Technology Tactile Sensors Let Robots Judge Hardness And Handle Small Items Precisely

Jun 08, 2017 01:25 PM EDT

A recent technology called GelSight tactile sensors lets robots to have greater sensitivity. More so, the new sensors allow robots to judge hardness and grip precisely even small objects.

ScienceDaily reported that with GelSight technology tactile sensors, robots can now grip objects that as small as a screwdriver. But the capability is not limited to gripping and grasping even small objects, robots are also given greater sensitivity to judge hardness.

According to EconomicTimes, a research group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led by Ted Adelson introduced the GelSight, a tactile sensor technology eight years ago. The technology uses physical contact with an object in order to give a detailed three-dimensional or 3D map on its surface.

Just a few days ago, another group of scientists used the GelSight technology tactile sensor on robots for the purpose of giving the robot's dexterity in manipulation such as gripping and grasping small objects and greater sensitivity. When the sensors were mounted on the grippers of a robotic arm, the robot was able to precisely grasp a small item.

Another thing that makes the GelSight technology tactile sensors incredible in robots is that it during the experiment the robotic arm was able to remove a screwdriver and insert it back. The robotic arm was able to manipulate even when the gripper act as an obstacle of the screwdriver from the robot's camera.

Because of the success of the GelSight technology tactile sensor in the experiment, the results were afterward presented at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm. The two teams who makes the experiment possible have different perspectives.

The group of Adelson used the GelSight technology tactile sensors to give robots capability to make judgement on the hardness of a surface just like in 3D. While the group of Russ Tedrake, the Robot Locomotion Group used the GelSight tactile sensors to let robots manipulate smaller objects just like a screwdriver.

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