Does Plug-and-Play GelSight Mini Deliver “Superhuman” AI-Powered Tactile Sensing Capabilities to the World?


With a resolution that beats what the human finger offers, the compact tactile sensor from GelSight promises a five minute out of box experience.

GelSight, the famous tactile intelligence specialist which was created as an offshoot of a project from Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT recently announced the off the shelf plug-and-play effectuation of its technology, the GelSight Mini which boasts of a five-minute out-of-the-box experience.

GelSight Mini is an affordable and compact novel invention. It boasts of a tactile sensor, and a flexible plug-and-play structure which allows users access within five minutes of unboxing the device according to GelSight vice president of product Dennis Lang.

According to comments attributed to Lang during the product launch; “We believe that GelSight Mini will reduce the barrier of entry into robotics and touch-based scanning for corporate research and development, academics, and hobbyists, while opening doors to new terrain, such as the Metaverse.”

The research efforts of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is the core source of the GelSight Mini as its technology which was unveiled in 2009 gave birth to the invention. The laboratory unveiled the invention of a sensor confirmed to be capable of two and three dimensional mapping of any object it has contact with at a resolution beyond the fingertip of humans. This sensor is created with a block of transparent rubber with a metallic paint finish on one part. This rubber deforms while a camera detects the alteration, and uses a machine learning technique to process the resulting image. The end result is a display of the touched object with a fascinating resolution.

The difference between the GelSight Mini and previous inventions is that it is immediately accessible. According to its manufacturers, in five minutes users can link up to the sensor with a USB, and communicate using a bundled Robot Operating System (ROS) support, frame-grabber or PyTouch-based Python scripts to integrate into ready made computer vision system.

Another additional advantage to the GelSight which enhances the sensor is the 3D-printable CAD files attached to adapters. This helps the sensor to be easily attached to a group of common robot systems. The bundled software will also open the possibility to create a “digital twins” for any item the sensor comes in contact with.

To get the GelSight Mini from the company store comes at $499. The replacement gels cost $49. For now the company has not publicly revealed the frequency needed to replace the gels to ensure an optimal performance of the device.

As originally reported in (