ICRA 2015 Workshop: "Get in touch!"

Tactile & force sensing for autonomous, compliant, intelligent robots

Quick Facts

Organizers:Serena Ivaldi (INRIA & TU-Darmstadt), Lorenzo Jamone (IST Lisbon), Bruno Siciliano (CREATE, Univ. Naples)
Conference:ICRA 2015
Location:Seattle, Washington State Convention Center
Date:May, 30th, 2015 -- 8:30AM - 12:00AM -- Room WSCC 6A

Abstract

Robots interacting physically with humans and their environment, need the capability to detect contacts and control the interaction forces. Force and tactile sensing have become crucial for this task. The recent advances in sensing technologies have enabled novel applications, and such sensors are rapidly being integrated in several robotics platforms, to advance control, manipulation, learning and interaction capabilities.

The goal of this workshop is to highlight recent applications of tactile and force sensors, as well as presenting the state of art of such sensor technologies for robotics applications and discussing future directions of research for a pervasive use of such sensors.

This workshop is a forum to foster the dialogue between industry and academia, to present to the community the recent advances in sensing technologies, in the research and applications of such sensors for the new generation of robots.

Topics

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • new tactile/force sensors technologies
  • sensors and robot calibration
  • combining tactile and force measurements for exploration of rigid and compliant environments
  • use of tactile and force feedback for improving robot control and learning
  • use of tactile and force feedback in human-robot interaction
  • challenges in learning from high-dimensional, multimodal sensor data

Schedule

timespeaker
8.30 -> 8.50Welcome
8.50 -> 9.15Alin Albu Schaeffer: Synergy of Tactile and Force Sensing for Grasping and Safe Human Robot interaction
9.15 -> 9.40Alex Schmitz & Shigeki Sugano: Tactile Sensing in TWENDY-ONE and new, soft, tri-axial force skin sensors
9.40 -> 10.00Poster/demo spotlight presentations
10.00 -> 11.00Coffee break with posters & demos
11.00 -> 11.25Robert Platt: Tactile sensing for category-level manipulation
11.25 -> 11.50Felix Duvallet: Tactile and force sensing to support teaching of compliant manipulation
11.50 -> 12.00Discussion & conclusion

Invited Speakers

Robert Platt, Northeastern University

Title: Tactile sensing for category-level manipulation

Abstract: In robot manipulation, we often know the general class of an object to be manipulated without knowing instance-level information. For example, we may know that we want to grasp a tea kettle without knowing its exact model and geometry. The main reason this is challenging is that it requires us to reason about how to grasp or manipulate independently of object geometry. It forces us to build grasping and manipulation skills that are somewhat general-purpose. In this talk, I will summarize recent efforts in my group to tackle this challenge. Specifically, I will discuss methods of using 1) range data to localize potential grasp poses and 2) tactile data to localize an object held in the robot hand. We envision an integrated grasping and insertion system that is robust without specific information about the object instance and I will introduce a category-level assembly challenge task.

Alin Albu-Schaffer, DLR

Title: Synergy of Tactile and Force Sensing for Grasping and Safe Human Robot interaction

Abstract: Soft robotics, based on force and torque sensing, became finally industrial reality, after decades of intensive research. However, without the sense of touch, dexterity and safety of robots still remains far beyond human performance. While many prototypes and even commercial products for tactile sensors are available today, a similar breakthrough as for force/torque sensing cannot be recognized yet. The presentation will address hardware issues in the development of DLR tactile and force sensors as well as several approaches of using and integrating those sensors in the area of dexterous grasping and safe physical human-robot interaction.

Aude Billard & Felix Duvallet, EPFL

Title: Tactile and force sensing to support teaching of compliant manipulation

Abstract: Teaching tasks that require careful measurement of force to drive control is difficult and requires the design of novel interfaces and controllers for learning from human demonstration. This talk will illustrate through a few examples how tactile and force sensors can be used to support teaching of compliant manipulation skills. We will emphasize the importance to provide demonstration through kinesthetic teaching to enable the teacher to perceive the interaction forces. We present results on teaching compliant control of the end-effector in a classical peg and hole insertion task and of the hand and fingers for fine exploration of unknown objects and dexterous object manipulation.

Shigeki Sugano & Alexander Schmitz, Waseda University

Title: Tactile Sensing in TWENDY-ONE and new, soft, tri-axial force skin sensors

Abstract: TWENDY-ONE possesses shock absorbing skin and tactile sensors in its arms and torso in order to facilitate a safe interaction with the environment. Moreover, each hand has 241 distributed tactile sensors, a soft skin and small-sized six-axis force/torque sensors in the fingertips. These features, combined with a high number of actuated joints, passive degrees of freedom, and an optimized shape make the hand well suited for grasping and manipulation. This talk will present two results that have been obtained with the hand: the hand has been used for in-hand manipulation as well as tactile object recognition. Furthermore, this talk will show new tactile sensors that are currently being developed in the Sugano Lab: they are soft, about 7mm thick, include the digitization electronics, and enable to measure normal as well as shear forces.

Contributed papers / posters

  1. Contact-Based Gesture Recognition on an Omni-directional Mobile Robot for a Robot Companion. Kwan Suk Kim and Luis Sentis Attach:01_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  2. Where am I Touching? Solved by Matching Tactile Features with Visual Object Map. Shan Luo, Kaspar Althoefer and Hongbin Liu Attach:02_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  3. Sensitive Active Surfaces on the Velvet II Dexterous Gripper. Vinicio Tincani, Manuel Catalano, Giorgio Grioli, Todor Stoyanov, Robert Krug, Achim Lilienthal, Gualtiero Fantoni and Antonio Bicchi Attach:03_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  4. Practical, Stretchable Smart Skin Sensors for Contact-Aware Robots in Safe and Collaborative Interactions. O'Neill, J.; Lu, J.; Dockter, R. & Kowalewski, T. Attach:04_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  5. Whole-body tactile sensing technique using force sensors fixed at supporting points. Toshiaki Tsuji (video) Attach:05_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  6. Soft Tactile Sensing for Bioinspired Robotic Roots. C. Lucarotti, A. Sadeghi, M. Totaro, A. Mondini, L. Beccai, B. Mazzolai (video) Attach:06_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  7. Towards a new terrain perception for humanoid robots. Luca Fiorio, Jorhabib Eljaik, Giulio Sandini, Giorgio Metta and Francesco Nori Attach:07_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  8. Haptic Perception during Manipulation Tasks using Whole-­arm Tactile Sensing. Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee and Charles C. Kemp (project, video1, video2) Attach:08_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  9. Soft landing in jumping robot using force sensor and compliant motor capability. Juan M. Calderon, Martin Llofriu, Wilfrido Moreno, Alfredo Weitzenfeld Attach:09_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  10. Preliminary Evaluation of a Prototype Integrated Capacitive Force Fingertip Sensor. Matthew S. Johannes, Kapil D. Katyal, Matthew P. Para, James R. Solberg, Eric L. Faulring, Alex Makhlin, Julio J. Santos, Erik W. Schluter, Sliman J. Bensmaia, Francesco D. Tenore Attach:10_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  11. iCub Tactile Sensing System: Current State and Future Directions. Nawid Jamali, Giorgio Metta and Lorenzo Natale (video) Attach:11_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  12. Learning Dynamics Models of Contacts from Tactile Sensors. Roberto Calandra, Serena Ivaldi, Marc Peter Deisenroth, Elmar Rueckert, Jan Peters Attach:12_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  13. Low-cost Sensor Glove with Force Feedback for Learning from Demonstrations using Probabilistic Trajectory Representations. Elmar Rueckert, Rudolf Lioutikov, Roberto Calandra, Marius Schmidt, Philipp Beckerle and Jan Peters Attach:13_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf
  14. High resolution pressure sensing using sub-pixel shifts on low resolution load-sensing tiles. Mihai Andries, Francois Charpillet, Olivier Simonin Attach:14_icra_ws_tactileforce.pdf

Demos

  • SynTouch LLC : BioTac sensor (videos)
  • TakkTile LLC : TakkStrips and integrated sensors into the ReFlex robot hand
  • OptoForce Ltd : force sensors
  • Practical, Stretchable Smart Skin Sensors for Contact-Aware Robots in Safe and Collaborative Interactions - by O'Neill, J.; Lu, J.; Dockter, R. & Kowalewski, T. (University of Minnesota)
  • Haptic Perception during Manipulation Tasks using Whole-­arm Tactile Sensing - by Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee and Charles C. Kemp (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Demonstration of an Integrated Capacitive Force Fingertip Sensor - by Kapil D. Katyal, Matthew P. Para, and Matthew S. Johannes (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)
  • iCub Tactile Sensing System: Current State and Future Directions - by Nawid Jamali, Giorgio Metta and Lorenzo Natale (Italian Institute of Technology)
  • Whole-body tactile sensing technique using force sensors fixed at supporting points - by Toshiaki Tsuji (Saitama University)
  • Soft tactile systems for highly sensitive and wearable artificial touch - by Chiara Lucarotti, Massimo Totaro, Barbara Mazzolai, Lucia Beccai (Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

Call for papers

We solicit contributions in the form of extended abstracts (max 2 pages) in ICRA paper format, to be presented at the workshop as posters. Outstanding contributions may be selected for oral presentations. Preliminary works on tactile and force sensing are welcome, as well as early developments of sensors prototypes.

Deadline for submission: March 31
Notification of Acceptance: April 9

To submit your contribution, please email a single PDF file (possibly with a link to a video) to by March 31.

Call for demonstrations

We invite researchers from industry or academia to show their sensors and make live demonstrations!
We solicit contributions in the form of demonstrations of new sensors, devices and new applications of force and tactile sensing. The demos will be described in a spotlight presentations. Selected demos and sensors will also feature in a technical session. Live demonstrations will have a dedicated space during the workshop (tables, chairs and tv screens).

Candidates are expected to send us a short paper (max 2 pages) describing the device/sensor, the setup and the demo that will be shown, as long as with their list of requirements in terms of space and power supply.

Deadline for submission: March 31
Notification of acceptance: April 6

To submit your contribution, please email a single PDF file (possibly with a link to a video) to by March 31.

Acknowledgements

This workshop is in held in close collaboration with the EU Projects CODYCO, SAPHARI, RODYMAN, POETICON++ and the project LIMOMAN.

The workshop received support by the RAS TC on Whole-body control and the RAS TC on Humanoid robots.

  

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