Object surface exploration using low-cost rolling robotic fingertips

Yoav Golan, Amir Shapiro, Elon Rimon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tactile sensors are numerous and varied, and the data they provide has proven advantages in industrial and consumer products. Despite this fact, these sensors are not used to their full potential. This illustrates the need for low-cost, versatile tactile sensors. In this paper we introduce novel robotic fingertips that use low-cost components coupled with mechanical ingenuity in order to attain important and high-quality tactile data. Our robotic fingertips contain a rolling mechanism, and can sense the force applied to an object, the normal direction of the contact point, as well as parallel movement along the object's surface. We show three main uses for this fingertip. Firstly, we demonstrate how the fingertips can be used for the detection of soft or lightweight objects by applying extremely small forces to them. Secondly, we present a method of full-perimeter definition (location and normal direction) of rigid objects by tracing. Lastly, we explain how our sensors can be used to detect stiffness and stiffness anomalies in soft objects, such as organic tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2018 - Proceedings
EditorsYon Visell, Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, Gregory J. Gerling
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538654248
StatePublished - 9 May 2018
Event2018 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 25 Mar 201828 Mar 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS
ISSN (Print)2324-7347
ISSN (Electronic)2324-7355


Conference2018 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


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