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Profile sensing with an actuated whisker

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2 Author(s)
Scholz, G.R. ; Dept. of Mech. & Nucl. Eng., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA ; Rahn, C.D.

Obstacle avoidance and object identification are important tasks for robots in unstructured environments. This paper develops an actuated whisker that determines contacted object profiles using a hub load cell. The shape calculation algorithm numerically integrates the elastica equations from the measured hub angle, displacement, forces, and torque until the bending moment vanishes, indicating the contact point. Sweeping the whisker across the object generates a locus of contact points that can be used for object identification. Experimental results demonstrate the ability to identify and differentiate square and curved objects at various orientations.

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Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )