New low-cost robot glove also ‘smarter’
A sophisticated smart glove, capable of identifying and grasping objects like a human hand, has been developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Using artificial intelligence, the low-cost knitted glove uses 550 tiny sensors to recognise different objects.
The glove, developed by MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory, can be used by robots and even fitted to a prosthetic hand.
Previous smart gloves have been developed, but they are not only more basic, having only around 50 sensors, but also far more expensive.
The new version, known as the “scalable tactile glove” (Stag), is made from commercially available materials costing approximately $10 (R146).
Researchers used 26 common objects, including a mug, tennis ball, pan and spoon, to create a database of touchpoints that the glove uses to recognise items in its grasp.
So far, it has correctly recognised 76% of objects in its grasp. It can also calculate the weight of items to within 57g.
“We’ve always wanted robots to do what humans can do, like the dishes or other chores.
“If you want robots to do these things, they must be able to manipulate objects really well,” said Subramanian Sundaram, one of the MIT researchers behind the project.