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Facebook creates waves in the robotic industry with a wide range of touch sensing technology

Facebook in recent years have been highly focused towards the growing AI industry, the social giant has developed a number of research centers that actively work to create products for the growth of AI and robotics.

Researchers and companies in the AI world are all particularly interested in Artificial intelligence related to robotics. Alongside giving robots and systems their own intelligence, scientists have been working on providing these robots the power of senses so that these systems can learn and perceive the world around them much better.

Providing robots with senses would give them a much deeper sense of the world and would thus allow them to be much more effective. Robots this way would easily grasp the concept of gravity and pressure. This deeper understanding would significantly reduce the time systems take in training.

Facebook in recent times have developed tools that allow for robots to have a sense of touch just like we humans have. Not only this, but Facebook has created these products in significantly lesser amounts and have made them available for researchers and universities.

One such product the Facebook AI Research Centre (FAIR) developed is named 'The Digit'. Digit is basically a sensor; however, it is open that's quite different from normal sensors. What Digit actually does is that it takes in input via a High Definition camera and processes senses through RGB LEDs. Whenever something touches the outer silicon layer of Digit, the RGB lights inside it records the changes in color hues and shadows. Digit after learning what object causes what kind of color changes can easily sense an object. The Digit being an amazing technology surprisingly costs only 15 dollars and is even available for the general public.


FAIR researchers apart from this have also developed another tool named 'Reskin'. The Reskin developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, is actually a 'skin' for robots. Robots, once equipped with this skin, get the ability to sense things. The Reskin, unlike Digit, has an elastomer containing micro magnetic particles. The elastomer deforms when force is applied to it thus making it easier for robots to understand what they are touching.

FAIR developing low priced and futuristic products like Digit and Reskin is surely a commendable effort from Facebook. These products will surely prove to be an advancement for the AI and robotics industry.

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