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Dexterous Manipulation of Unknown Objects Using Virtual Contact Points

Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering (IOC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Robotics 2019, 8(4), 86;
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 6 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robotics in Spain 2019)
The manipulation of unknown objects is a problem of special interest in robotics since it is not always possible to have exact models of the objects with which the robot interacts. This paper presents a simple strategy to manipulate unknown objects using a robotic hand equipped with tactile sensors. The hand configurations that allow the rotation of an unknown object are computed using only tactile and kinematic information, obtained during the manipulation process and reasoning about the desired and real positions of the fingertips during the manipulation. This is done taking into account that the desired positions of the fingertips are not physically reachable since they are located in the interior of the manipulated object and therefore they are virtual positions with associated virtual contact points. The proposed approach was satisfactorily validated using three fingers of an anthropomorphic robotic hand (Allegro Hand), with the original fingertips replaced by tactile sensors (WTS-FT). In the experimental validation, several everyday objects with different shapes were successfully manipulated, rotating them without the need of knowing their shape or any other physical property. View Full-Text
Keywords: robotics; manipulation; pressure measurements; sensors robotics; manipulation; pressure measurements; sensors
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Montaño, A.; Suárez, R. Dexterous Manipulation of Unknown Objects Using Virtual Contact Points. Robotics 2019, 8, 86.

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