A new project at MIT’s Computer Science and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), led by director
Daniela Rus, is attempting to solve the gripping issue.
The team created bendable and stretchable robotic
fingers made out of silicone rubber that can lift and handle
objects as thin as a piece of paper and as delicate as an
Unlike robots with rigid, metal fingers, the soft silicone
fingers don’t need to be given specific instructions about
how to grasp varying objects. “Soft robotics” allow for less
precision when picking up items.
Creating a robot that perfectly mimics the natural hand gestures of humans has perplexed
researchers for years. How does one
develop a robot that can not only pick
up a cup of water, but also hold it at the
correct angle so that it doesn’t spill on
the floor? How about walking up stairs
and sensing where every step is?
By Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor
OBJECTS BY FEEL