Tactile-Filter: Interactive Tactile Perception for Part Mating

Kei Ota
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Devesh K Jha
Hsiao-Yu Tung
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Joshua Tenenbaum
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Paper Website

Paper ID 79

Session 10. Robot Perception

Poster Session Thursday, July 13

Poster 15

Abstract: Humans rely on touch and tactile sensing for a lot of dexterous manipulation tasks. Our tactile sensing provides us with a lot of information regarding contact formations as well as geometric information about objects during any interaction. With this motivation, vision-based tactile sensors are being widely used for various robotic perception and control tasks. In this paper, we present a method for interactive perception using vision-based tactile sensors for a part mating task, where a robot can use tactile sensors and a feedback mechanism using a particle filter to incrementally improve its estimate of objects (pegs and holes) that fit together. To do this, we first train a deep neural network that makes use of tactile images to predict the probabilistic correspondence between arbitrarily shaped objects that fit together. The trained model is used to design a particle filter which is used twofold. First, given one partial (or non-unique) observation of the hole, it incrementally improves the estimate of the correct peg by sampling more tactile observations. Second, it selects the next action for the robot to sample the next touch (and thus image) which results in maximum uncertainty reduction to minimize the number of interactions during the perception task. We evaluate our method on several part-mating tasks with novel objects using a robot equipped with a vision-based tactile sensor. We also show the efficiency of the proposed action selection method against a naive method. See supplementary video at \url{https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMVBg_e3gLw}.