by turbo

September 22, 2014

Robot armScientists at MIT and Northeastern College have integrated a visual sensing unit, known as the GelSight sensor, into the manipulator arm of a robot. They utilized the GelSight sensing unit to image a USB symbol on a standard plug. For it to do this with even more accuracy, the cube-shaped sensing unit used 4 LEDs, each from a different angle. By examining the relative levels of the LED light on numerous parts of the USB icon, the sensing unit was able to determine the plug’s three-dimensional placement relative to the robot’s gripper. The bot then relocated the plug end of the cord over to a USB outlet and properly inserted it. Without the sensing unit, the robot could not insert the plug, as it could not figure out the USB plug’s orientation. This is the main reason why robots usually have to have items exactly set in place beforehand. The GelSight sensor might enable robotics to be a lot more versatile when maneuvering objects in the future.