gelsightWhen we talk about robots, most of the time we would think that it is a pretty easy thing to actually conjure up a robot that works and functions like a human. However, things are not all that simple on the surface, which goes to show just how complex our brains and bodies actually are. Well, the GelSight sensor is one particular advancement in the field of robotics that will increase the dexterity level of robots, giving the a better sense of touch so to speak, relying on superior eyesight compared to the traditional method of using tactile sensors.

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With the GelSight sensor covering different parts of the robot’s finger pad, this piece of rubber comes coated with metallic paint, and it will be able to press up against the object that is being grasped. There will be a quartet of edges around the sensor that will light up in four different colors, and these colors will subsequently bounce off the rubber whenever an object deforms it.

A camera will then take a snapshot of the resulting light, helping to analyze the color spectrum so that it knows the precise shape of the object that is against the rubber pad. Engineers claim that this would allow a robot to be 100 times more sensitive compared a human finger. In fact, this has increased the dexterity and accuracy level of the robot’s hand that it is capable of inserting the USB plug in 34 out of 26 times – not too shabby, yes? [Press Release]

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