On estimating local shape using contact sensing. (English) Zbl 0981.70008

Summary: We investigate an exploratory procedure (EP) for determining the local shape or curvature of objects with curved surfaces, using contact sensing by a dexterous robotic agent. The EP is based on rolling a probe (a finger) on the surface of an unknown object. Using the known geometry of the probe fip (fingertip) and the sensed displacement of contact point, we use kinematic equations for two rigid bodies in contact to estimate the curvature of the unknown object at a point. We demonstrate this approach through simulations, and analyze its sensitivity to noise caused by sensing and measurement errors. This local information can then be used in the global object shape reconstruction algorithms.


70E55 Dynamics of multibody systems
70E60 Robot dynamics and control of rigid bodies
70B15 Kinematics of mechanisms and robots
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