Research ArticleSENSORS

Skin-inspired quadruple tactile sensors integrated on a robot hand enable object recognition

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Science Robotics  16 Dec 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 49, eabc8134
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.abc8134

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Abstract

Robot hands with tactile perception can improve the safety of object manipulation and also improve the accuracy of object identification. Here, we report the integration of quadruple tactile sensors onto a robot hand to enable precise object recognition through grasping. Our quadruple tactile sensor consists of a skin-inspired multilayer microstructure. It works as thermoreceptor with the ability to perceive thermal conductivity of a material, measure contact pressure, as well as sense object temperature and environment temperature simultaneously and independently. By combining tactile sensing information and machine learning, our smart hand has the capability to precisely recognize different shapes, sizes, and materials in a diverse set of objects. We further apply our smart hand to the task of garbage sorting and demonstrate a classification accuracy of 94% in recognizing seven types of garbage.

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