Researchers at MIT have developed a camera-based touch sensor called the GelSight Svelte, which is shaped like a human finger and provides high-resolution tactile sensing over a large area. This sensor uses two mirrors to capture information along its entire length, enabling it to mimic human-like grasping. Additionally, the sensor has a flexible backbone that measures bending when it touches an object, allowing it to estimate the force applied.
The GelSight Svelte sensor was integrated into a robotic hand, enabling the robot to grasp objects more like a human would, using the entire sensing area of its fingers. This capability opens up new possibilities for various manipulation tasks, beyond the limited pinch grasps commonly seen in traditional robotic grippers.
This advancement could have applications in robotics and automation, making robots more versatile in handling and manipulating objects.