Daily Dispatch

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.

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