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GelSight Launches AI-Powered 3D Tactile Sensor for Robots


September 21, 2022

GelSight, which develops tactile intelligence sensor technologies, has announced the release of its GelSight Mini, an artificial-intelligence powered 3D tactile sensor. The sensor offers “superhuman touch resolution” to the commercial market, with a compact design for human hands, and robust enough for use by robots and cobots, the company said. In addition, the GelSight Mini can take just five minutes to deliver shareable results out of the box.

The GelSight Mini tactile sensor includes digital 2D and 3D mapping functions, and broadens sensor capabilities compared to similar products on the market, the company said. It can also provide researchers with optimized images of material services that are useful in many other industries.

Roboticists that perform industrial-style two-finger gripper and bionic hand research and development can utilize new capabilities with GelSight Mini, the company added. Robot Operating System (ROS) compatibility, frame grabbers and Python scripts are provided to let users quickly begin unique AI and computer vision tasks, including the direct creation of digital twins of items to be picked using the sensor. The small design of the sensor allows for easier integration into existing robotics systems, along with 3D CAD files provided by GelSight that can be integrated into commonly used robot systems. In addition, because R&D environments favor fast failure and iteration, the GelSight Mini is designed to allow fast, toolless gel changes, while maintaining positive locking for retention of the gel in the case.

“GelSight Mini is a first-of-its-kind, affordable and compact tactile sensor with an easy, plug-and-play setup that lets users get to work within five minutes of taking the device out of the box,” said Dennis Lang, vice president of product at GelSight. “We believe that GelSight Mini will reduce the barrier of entry into robotics and touch-based scanning for corporate research and development, academics, and hobbyists, while opening doors to new terrain, such as the metaverse.”

GelSight said its tactile intelligence technologies digitizes touch with human-like sensitivity and high resolution. Data captured by the elastomeric tactile sensing platform leverages ROS, PyTouch and Python to let users create detailed, accurate surface characterizations that are directly compatible with industry standard software environments.In addition to robotics, the sensor can be used in industrial prototyping and AI-based touch research.

GelSIght said the Mini is now available for $499 through its online store or from DigiKey. Additional details on the sensor can be found at the GelSight website.

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