MIT researchers created a robotic gripper that can handle thin flexible objects like ropes, wires, and cables. The soft robotic gripper uses high-resolution tactile sensors that allow it to handle thin objects like cables. Researchers believe that one day, it can be used for household tasks such as tying knots, wire shaping, or even surgical suturing. During the demo, the robotic arm successfully plugged in earphones into the phone.
The gripper equipped with two fingers. These fingers are very lightweight and quick moving. At the tip of those fingers, there is a vision-based “GelSight” sensors with embedded cameras. It is mounted on a robot arm which moves it via its control system.
“Manipulating soft objects are so common in our daily lives, like cable manipulation, cloth folding, and string knotting,” says Yu She, MIT postdoc and lead author on a new paper about the robotic gripper. “In many cases, we would like to have robots help humans do this kind of work, especially when the tasks are repetitive, dull, or unsafe.”