From the Lab Notebook: Observations on Tactile Sensing for Robotic ManipulationDownload PDF

Jun 01, 2020 (edited Jul 02, 2020)RSS 2020 Workshop RobRetro SubmissionReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: tactile sensing, mechanical design, tactile perception
  • TL;DR: This paper provides practical advice on choosing tactile sensors and discusses prevalent trends in tactile sensing.
  • Abstract: Manipulation is having a moment. Over the last decade, academic and commercial players alike have renewed interest in robotic manipulation due to a variety of factors: increasing availability of robotic arms, standardization of grippers, and decreasing cost of compute power. One of the key challenges that remain is making manipulators robust and safe for interaction in unstructured environments. Tactile sensors, by augmenting visual perception with shape, texture, compliance, temperature, vibration, and/or force feedback, are a vital step towards making robotic manipulators useful outside the lab sandbox. As a reflection on tactile sensing for robotic manipulation, this paper has two goals: 1) to provide practical advice on choosing a tactile sensor design, and 2) to discuss prevalent sensing archetypes and trends through a historical lens. We conclude this paper with a discussion of future research questions and community goals given trends in tactile sensor design.
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