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Stanford Develops an Electronic Glove That Gives Robots a Sense of Touch

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The sensor shown is sensitive enough to allow the finger to hold a blueberry without crushing it.

Engineers at Stanford University have developed an electronic glove containing sensors that could one day give robotic hands the sort of dexterity that humans take for granted.

Credit: Bao Lab

Stanford University researchers have developed an electronic glove equipped with sensors that could give robotic hands human dexterity.

The team found the sensors in the glove work well enough to allow a robotic hand to touch a delicate berry and handle a ping-pong ball without damaging them.

The sensors simultaneously measure the intensity and direction of pressure; the glove mimics the way layers of human skin work together to give human hands their sensitivity.

Each sensor on the fingertip of the robotic glove is made of three flexible layers that interoperate; the top and bottom layers are electrically active, with a rubber insulator in the middle.

According to Stanford's Zhenan Bao, with proper programming, a robotic hand wearing the touch-sensitive glove could perform a repetitive action such as lifting eggs off a conveyor belt and placing them into cartons.

From Stanford News
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