Dual-modal tactile perception and exploration

EPSRC grant on tactile superresolution sensing (EP/M02993X/1) and Leverhulme Grant on 'Biomimetic Forebrain for Robot Touch' (RL-2016-39).

Tactile sensing is required for human-like control with robotic manipulators. Multimodality is an essential component for these tactile sensors, for robots to achieve both the perceptual accuracy required for precise control, as well as the robustness to maintain a stable grasp without causing damage to the object or the robot itself. In this study, we present a cheap, 3D-printed, compliant, dual-modal, optical tactile sensor which is capable of both high (temporal) speed sensing, analogous to pain reception in humans and high (spatial) resolution sensing, analogous to the sensing provided by Merkel cell complexes in the human fingertip. We apply three tasks designed to test the sensing capabilities in both modalities; i) a depth modulation task, where a robot is required to follow a target trajectory using the high-speed modality; ii) an off-line high-resolution perception task, where the sensor perceives angle and radial position relative to an object edge; and iii) a tactile exploration task, where the robot uses the high-resolution modality to perceive an edge and subsequently follow the object contour. The robot is capable of modulating contact depth using the high-speed mode, attains a high level of accuracy in the perception task and accurate control using the high-resolution mode. The control method is successfully applied to an unseen object at an arbitrary depth with the use of both high-speed and high-resolution modalities in combination.

Creator(s) Nicholas Pestell, Nathan Lepora
Funder Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Publication date 05 Jan 2018
Language eng
Publisher University of Bristol
Licence Non-Commercial Government License for public sector information
DOI 10.5523/bris.1s5pofgyr9i9v1ypc1zhdh8b8b
Complete download (zip) https://data.bris.ac.uk/datasets/1s5pofgyr9i9v1ypc1zhdh8b8b/1s5pofgyr9i9v1ypc1zhdh8b8b.zip
Citation Nicholas Pestell, Nathan Lepora (2018): Dual-modal tactile perception and exploration. https://doi.org/10.5523/bris.1s5pofgyr9i9v1ypc1zhdh8b8b
Total size 3.5 MiB

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