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In this paper we approach the problem of replicating some of the human tactile perceptual paradigms through the development of an anthropomorphic robotic testbed consisting of a single exploratory finger and of a sensorized platform. This artificial tactile sensing system has been purposely devised to execute simple humanlike sensory-motor acts ("tactile subroutines") which form the basis for more complex exploratory strategies. After describing the features of the hardware components of the tactile sensing system, both the phylosophy and the practical implementation of a set of exploratory subroutines are discussed. Finally, the results of a few experimental tests carried out in order to evaluate the usefulness of the proposed exploratory approach in the context of a robot workstation for the assistance of disabled persons, are reported.