RoboTac 2019 - New Advances in Tactile Sensation, Perception, and Learning in Robotics: Emerging Material and Technologies in Tactile Sensing for Grasp and Manipulation

Mohsen Kaboli1, Lisa-marie Faller2, Lorenzo Natale3, Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee4, Robert Haschke5, Martin Kaltenbrunner6, Ravinder Dahiya7

  • 1BMW AI & Robotics Research
  • 2Carinthian University of Applied Sciences: FH Kärnten
  • 3Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
  • 4University of Washington
  • 5Bielefeld University
  • 6Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • 7University of Glasgow

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The sense of touch is a crucial capability for us to cope with manipulation related challenges in everyday life. It enables grasping, manipulation, learning, and decision-making based on the information we get from the hundreds of mechanoreceptors distributed over our skin. This sense of touch is a capability, which robotic systems of the future need to provide in order to be able to safely collaborate and physically interact with humans. Tactile sensing is also essential to perform a variety of other tasks including industrial applications, consumer services, and other highly dynamic environments such as assistance and care for elderly, housekeeping, etc. For many such applications, tactile sensation, perception, and learning play a crucial role. Soft, compliant, and highly integrated systems, often also suitable for large areas (sensor skins), are becoming increasingly relevant and are considered the future of robotic manipulation and interaction. These systems provide the necessary prerequisites for ubiquitous robotics and the integration of tactile sensors into existing robotic systems. This enables safe interaction and co-existence between humans and robots including novel assistive robotic devices. Thus, this year’s workshop puts an emphasis on tactile sensing and the development of sensor devices and integration strategies based on conformal and compliant approaches. Similar to the sense of touch in humans, robot sensation and the resulting capabilities do not end at the fingertip. Rather, robot sensation can be viewed as a complex process which is based on the interplay of a variety of components. This workshop is a follow up of our previous workshop, RoboTac18 ( at IROS2018 emerging on tactile object physical properties perception. In our current workshop, we are focusing mainly on new advances in materials and technologies in tactile sensing with the application in grasp and manipulation of soft and deformable objects. In this workshop we are bringing together researchers from different fields at the intersection of tactile perception, material sciences, and robotics manipulation. We are providing the opportunity to young researchers to get a compact overview of the field (and meet influential senior researchers). Moreover, we are fostering a new cooperation.

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