Maryland Robotics Student Seminar: Grasping In The Dark: Compliant and Adaptive Grasping

Friday, October 15, 2021
2:00 p.m.
Lena Johnson
301 405 8870

Grasping In The Dark: Compliant and Adaptive Grasping Using Tactile Feedback 

Kanishka Ganguly
PhD Student, CS/UMIACS Perception and Robotics Group
Advisor: Dr. Yiannis Aloimonos


Robust and adaptive grasping is still an unsolved problem in the field of robotics. In order to solve this problem, tactile feedback is a necessary requirement, especially when anthropomorphic grippers are concerned. In this talk, we discuss some of the problems concerning grasping with high degree-of-freedom grippers such as the Shadow Dexterous Hand, and use the SynTouch BioTac sensors as tactile sensors. We present the concept of computational tactile flow, by combining various models of the sensor with traditional computer vision based optical flow techniques. We also discuss the process of integrating tactile feedback into a grasping pipeline using the ShadowHand, and provide a tactile control system for adaptive grasping. This is useful in solving the problem of grasping in situations where visual feedback is limited or absent.

We discuss ongoing work on trying to generate spatio-temporal events from the BioTac sensor data and how interpreting the existing data in both spatial and temporal dimensions allows for easier analysis of motion across the sensor surface and makes it more robust to noise. Lastly, we present future work on teleoperation of arm and Hand for data gathering, and eventual applications of this data to learning based techniques for end-to-end control of the system for grasping and surface exploration.

About the Robotics Student Seminars
The Robotics Student Seminars at the University of Maryland College Park are a student-run series of talks given by current robotics students.

The purpose of these talks is to:

  • Encourage interaction between Robotics students from different subfields;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to be aware of and possibly get involved in the research their peers are conducting;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to receive feedback on their current research;
  • Provide speaking opportunities for Robotics students.

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