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Bodily aware soft robots: integration of proprioceptive and exteroceptive sensors

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018)
Publisher or commissioning bodyInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538630815
ISBN (Print)9781538630822
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Feb 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sep 2018
DatePublished (current) - Nov 2018
Event2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 21 May 201825 May 2018

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
Abbreviated titleICRA


Being aware of our body has great importance in our everyday life. It helps us to complete difficult tasks, such as movement in a dark room or grasping a complex object. These skills are important for robots as well, however, robotic bodily awareness is still an open question, and the nonlinearity of soft robots adds even more complexity. In this paper, we address this problem and present a novel method to implement bodily awareness into a real soft robot by the integration of its exteroceptive and proprioceptive sensors. We use an octopus-inspired arm as an example where the proprioceptive representation is approximated by four bend sensors integrated into the soft body, while a camera records the movement of the arm capturing its exteroceptive representation. The internal sensory signals are mapped to the visual information using a combination of a stacked convolutional autoencoder (CAE) and a recurrent neural network (RNN). As a result, the soft robot can learn to estimate and, therefore, to imagine its motion even when its visual sensor is not available.

    Structured keywords

  • Tactile Action Perception

    Research areas

  • Convolution, Soft robotics, Robot sensing systems, Visualization, Recurrent neural networks


2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Abbreviated titleICRA
Duration21 May 201825 May 2018
Degree of recognitionInternational event

Event: Conference

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via IEEE at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 5 MB, PDF document


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