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Artificial Whiskers Suitable for Array Implementation: Accounting for Lateral Slip and Surface Friction

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2 Author(s)
Solomon, J.H. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL ; Hartmann, M.J.Z.

The exquisite tactile sensing ability of biological whiskers has recently led to increasing interest in constructing robotic versions with similar capabilities. Tactile extraction of three-dimensional (3-D) object shape poses several unique challenges that have only begun to be addressed. The present study develops a method for estimating the contact location of a robotic whisker rotating against an object based on small changes in moment at the whisker base. Importantly, the method accounts for lateral slip as well as surface friction, making it particularly well suited for implementation on an array of robotic whiskers. Array implementation would permit simultaneous extraction of multiple contact points and enable highly parallel, efficient 3-D object feature extraction. A simple, scalable array design is suggested to fulfill this approach.

Published in:

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )