One of the crucial actions to be performed during a grasping task is to avoid slippage. The human hand can rapidly correct applied forces and prevent a grasped object from falling, thanks to its advanced tactile sensing. The same capability is hard to reproduce in artificial systems, such as robotic or prosthetic hands, where sensory motor coordination for force and slippage control is very limited. In this paper, a novel algorithm for slippage detection is presented. Based on fast, easy-to-perform processing, the proposed algorithm generates an ON/OFF signal relating to the presence/absence of slippage. The method can be applied either on the raw output of a force sensor or to its calibrated force signal, and yields comparable results if applied to both normal or tangential components. A biomimetic fingertip that integrates piezoresistive MEMS sensors was employed for evaluating the method performance. Each sensor had four units, thus providing 16 mono-axial signals for the analysis. A mechatronic platform was used to produce relative movement between the finger and the test surfaces (tactile stimuli
). Three surfaces with submillimetric periods were adopted for the method evaluation, and 10 experimental trials were performed per each surface. Results are illustrated in terms of slippage events detection and of latency between the slippage itself and its onset.
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