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Haptic Edge Detection Through Shear

Citation: Platkiewicz, J and Lipson, H and Hayward, Vincent (2016) Haptic Edge Detection Through Shear. Scientific Reports, 6 . ISSN 2045-2322


Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

Most tactile sensors are based on the assumption that touch depends on measuring pressure. However, the pressure distribution at the surface of a tactile sensor cannot be acquired directly and must be inferred from the deformation field induced by the touched object in the sensor medium. Currently, there is no consensus as to which components of strain are most informative for tactile sensing. Here, we propose that shape-related tactile information is more suitably recovered from shear strain than normal strain. Based on a contact mechanics analysis, we demonstrate that the elastic behavior of a haptic probe provides a robust edge detection mechanism when shear strain is sensed. We used a jamming-based robot gripper as a tactile sensor to empirically validate that shear strain processing gives accurate edge information that is invariant to changes in pressure, as predicted by the contact mechanics study. This result has implications for the design of effective tactile sensors as well as for the understanding of the early somatosensory processing in mammals.

Creators: Platkiewicz, J and Lipson, H and Hayward, Vincent (0000-0002-2102-1965) and
Official URL:
Subjects: Philosophy
Divisions: Institute of Philosophy
  • 2 March 2016 (accepted)
  • 24 March 2016 (published)


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