Cerebellum-based adaptation for fine haptic control over the space of uncertain surfaces

Article, Other ORP type English OPEN
Barron-Gonzalez H. ; Porrill J. ; Lepora N.F. ; Chinellato E. ; Metta G. ; Prescott T.J. (2013)

This work aims to augment the capacities for haptic perception in the iCub robot to generate a controller for surface exploration. The main task involves moving the hand over an irregular surface with uncertain slope, by concurrently regulating the pressure of the contact. Providing this ability will enable the autonomous extraction of important haptic features, such as texture and shape. We propose a hand controller whose operational space is defined over the surface of contact. The surface is estimated using a robust probabilistic estimator, which is then used for path planning. The motor commands are generated using a feedback controller, taking advantage of the kinematic information available by proprioception. Finally, the effectiveness of this controller is extended using a cerebellar-like adapter that generates reliable pressure tracking over the finger and results in a trajectory with less vulnerability to perturbations. The results of this work are consistent with insights about the role of the cerebellum on haptic perception in humans.\ud
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