Model-Free Precise in-Hand Manipulation with a 3D-Printed Tactile Gripper

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The use of tactile feedback for precision manipulation in robotics still lags far behind human capabilities. This study has two principal aims: 1) to demonstrate in-hand reorientation of grasped objects through active tactile manipulation; and 2) to present the development of a novel TacTip sensor and a GR2 gripper platform for tactile manipulation. Through the use of Bayesian active perception algorithms, the system successfully achieved inhand reorientation of cylinders of different diameters (20, 25, 30, and 35 mm) using tactile feedback. Average orientation errors along manipulation trajectories were below 5° for all cylinders with reorientation ranges varying from 42° to 67°. We also demonstrated an improvement in active tactile manipulation accuracy when using additional training data. Our methods for active tactile manipulation with the GR2 TacTip gripper are model free, can be used to investigate principles of dexterous manipulation, and could lead to essential advances in the areas of robotic tactile manipulation and teleoperated robots.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7959088
Pages (from-to)2056-2063
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
Early online date26 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Dexterous manipulation
  • force and tactile sensing
  • grippers and other end-effectors


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