Meta makes robot ‘skin’ and sensors to give a new touch

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed ReSkin and Digit, two products that could help AI learn how to ‘feel’.

Meta announcement was all about visuals – a new virtual world called the metaverse where people could be transported through smart goggles. Now, the company formerly known as Facebook is looking for new ways to make people sense touch in the metaverse.


ReSkin is a thin ‘robot skin’ that employs machine learning and magnetic sensing to ‘feel’ objects in a similar fashion to how people interact with stuff. Additionally the material, which may be up to 3mm thick was developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University researchers.

Earlier in a blog post, the business stated, “ReSkin offers an affordable. Adaptable, resilient, and interchangeable solution for long-term use.” . “It uses a self-supervised learning technique to help auto-calibrate the sensor. Allowing it to be generalized. And share data between sensors and systems.”

As the business demonstrated in GIFs in its blog post. The technology can train robots to perform difficult activities like unlocking a door with a key or gripping delicate products like berries. And grapes with exactly the correct amount of force.

“In robotics, robust tactile sense is a critical bottleneck. Additionally current sensors are either too expensive, have inadequate resolution, or are too bulky for custom robot. According to Lerrel Pinto, an assistant professor of computer science at New York University.

“ReSkin has the potential to solve a number of these problems.” Its tiny size and low weight make it compatible with a wide range of grippers. Especially I’m looking forward to seeing how this sensor may be used on our lab’s robots.”


The other device, termed Digit, is a high-resolution tactile sensor. Additionally complements the achievements made with the robot skin. Additionally intends to improve robot interaction with real-world things. By gathering and facilitating data processing, the sensor aids researchers in training AI to “feel.”

Digit, according to the business, can capture large datasets with hardware that is simple to manufacture, compact, and inexpensive. “Digit is substantially less expensive to produce. And additionally has hundreds of thousands more contact points, making it more valuable. And accessible to research teams all around the world,” the company claimed.

Meta AI developed Digit in collaboration with GelSight, an MIT spin-off that specializes in tactile sensing technology, and the device is now commercially available for researchers to test.

Meta expects that these breakthroughs in touch sensing will open up new possibilities in AR and VR, enhancing the metaverse’s user experience. Then the new technology might potentially lead to advancements in industrial, medical, and agricultural robotics, according to the report.

“Improvements in touch sensing can help us progress AI,” the business added, “and will enable researchers to build robots with enhanced functionalities and capabilities.” “We’re striving toward a future in which every single robot has touch-sensing capabilities.”


Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.