Giving Robots the Sense of Touch

iClebo 08/23/2019 311



The development of robot technology seems unstoppable.


New robotic innovations are emerging at a fast pace. One of the more fascinating developments to come out recently is the technology which gives robots a sense of touch.


Robots That Feel


Researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed what’s known as GelSight, which is a new sensor technology. What it does is it creates a detailed 3D map of a surface that the sensors come in contact with.


By attaching GelSight to the arms of robotic units, the researchers were able to give robots better dexterity and sensitivity. Some would argue that this does not really mean that the robots have a sense of touch like that of humans, but it is nearing that.


Electronic Gloves


Another development towards giving robots a sense of touch is the advancements made by engineers at Stanford University. They were able to develop a sensor on gloves that allowed a robotic arm to handle a berry and a ping-pong ball. Developing a robotic arm that can handle delicate objects like these without crushing them is a major step towards robots being able to touch and feel!


We’ve taken one step closer to creating robotic sensitivity similar to the human skin. The sensors which were placed on these gloves can measure the direction of the pressure applied and it’s intensity. 


The researchers were actually so confident about the sensors that they claim a robot with this glove could even hold an egg without breaking it.


It seems that robots are indeed getting closer and closer to becoming more like humans in more ways than one.