AI News, Finally: Robots Learn What 'Squishy' Really Means

Finally: Robots Learn What 'Squishy' Really Means

Humans use all sorts of bizarre, abstract terms to describe how objects feel, and it’s endlessly frustrating to robots.

Translating such sensor data into something that a human can understand is especially difficult, but in a paper presented this week, a PR2 robot equipped with an innovative finger sensor from SynTouch has been taught to use touch exploration to associate objects with 'tactile adjectives.'

After training the PR2 by correlating haptic sensor data with adjectives from humans who touched the same objects, the robot was tested out on a series of objects that it had never experienced before to see whether it would be able to derive the same haptic adjectives as humans do.

As shown in the video above (although it flashes past pretty quickly at the end), humans described the folded satin pillowcase as 'compact, compressible, deformable, smooth, and squishy,' while the robot thought it was 'compact, compressible, crinkly, smooth, and squishy.'

Furthermore, we have shown that these object properties can be related to subjective human labels in the form of haptic adjectives, a task that has rarely been explored in the literature, though it stands to benefit a wide range of future applications in robotics.

PR2 Robot Has Been Taught The Meaning Of Tactile Adjectives (+VIDEO)

In our daily communication we use various abstract terms to describe, how objects feel.

Translating such sensor data into something that a human can understand is rather difficult, though a PR2 robot equipped with an innovative finger sensor from SynTouch has been taught to use touch exploration to associate objects with “tactile adjectives.”

The researchers had a PR2 with the BioTac tactile finger sensor perform a series of procedures on the same set of objects, including tapping, squeezing, holding, and both slow and fast sliding.

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A Touch Sensor Based on Light Transport

We demonstrate a low-cost, easy to manufacture tactile sensor based on light transport through a polymer.

object handling using slip sensor.

we propose a method for controlling grasping force to resist tangential force applied to the grasped object using a feedback control system with the Center of Pressure (CoP) tactile sensor's...