Development and Integration of Tactile Sensing System

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To grasp and manipulate complex objects, robots require information about

the interaction between the end effector and the object. This work describes the

integration of a low-cost 3-axis tactile sensing system into two different robotic

systems and the measurement of some of these complex interactions. The sensor

itself is small, lightweight, and compliant so that it can be integrated within a variety

of end effectors and locations on those end effectors (e.g. wrapped around a finger).

To improve usability and data collection, a custom interface board and ROS (Robot

Operating System) package were developed to read the sensor data and interface

with the robots and grippers. Sensor data has been collected from four different

tasks: 1. pick and place of non-conductive and conductive objects, 2. wrist-based

manipulation, 3. peeling tape, and 4. human interaction with a grasped object. In

the last task, a closed loop controller is used to adjust the grip force on the grasped

object while the human interacts with it.