Tactile manipulation with biomimetic active touch


L. Cramphorn, B. Ward-Cherrier, and N. Lepora, “Tactile manipulation with biomimetic active touch,” ICRA, 2016.


Tactile manipulation is the ability to control objects in real-time using the sense of touch. Here we examine tactile manipulation from the perspective of active touch with a biomimetic tactile sensor, which combines tactile perception with control of sensor location. Experiments are performed with the tactile fingertip mounted as end effector to a robot arm, to manipulate (roll) a cylinder in contact with the fingertip. Performance is validated with offline (cross-validation) and online (real-time operation) assessments. Location perception is finer than the sensor resolution, leading to superresolved tactile manipulation along a complex trajectory. However, the original methods were non-robust to large unknown disturbances of object location, necessitating modification of the perceptual process to diminish prior beliefs relative to past posterior beliefs. In consequence robust and accurate tactile manipulation was attained. In general, it appears there is a trade-off between the responsiveness to unknown change and manipulation accuracy, which must be set appropriately for each task.


Publisher's Version

Last updated on 01/24/2017