Lately, we have seen a lot of advancements in the field of robotics and AI. Scientists at MIT have come up with a robotic digger finger that can burrow below surface and sense its surroundings burrows below surfaces and senses its surroundings. The robotic digger finger has the ability to dig into granular media to get a sense of objects buried underneath the surface.

Artificial touch

The digger finger is a robotic hand with slender fingers that vibrates to dislodge compact sand grains. The new technology is built on the previous work of the same scientists who have been working on builds on a tactile sensor technology called GelSight, which aims to provide detailed 3D maps of objects using artificial touch.

Robotic Digger Finger 1

GelSight comprises a clear gel covered with a reflective membrane along with a set of LED lights. The light rays from the LEDs alter as the gel gets deformed when it comes into contact with objects. The distorted light is then analysed by a machine learning algorithm that separates the 3D shape of the object causing this deformation.

How will Robotic digger finger help?

According to the Roboticists, the new technology will enable to fill a gap in sensing technologies that detect subsurface objects, like ground penetrating radar, which may be unable to differentiate bone from rock, for example.study author Edward Adelson said, “So, the idea is to make a finger that has a good sense of touch and can distinguish between the various things it’s feeling. That would be helpful if you’re trying to find and disable buried bombs, for example.”

Robotic Digger Finger will prove beneficial in disarming bombs or buried land mines. It could also be used to locate or inspect buried cables. Scientists also believe that the new technology will help in accelerating the technology around artificial touch such as feeling for tumours during surgery.

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