Motivated by the impact of superresolution methods for imaging, we undertake a detailed and systematic analysis of localization acuity for a biomimetic fingertip and a flat region of tactile skin. We identify three key factors underlying superresolution that enable the perceptual acuity to surpass the sensor resolution: 1) the sensor is constructed with multiple overlapping, broad but sensitive receptive fields; 2) the tactile perception method interpolates between receptors (taxels) to attain subtaxel acuity; and 3) active perception ensures robustness to unknown initial contact location. All factors follow from active Bayesian perception applied to biomimetic tactile sensors with an elastomeric covering that spreads the contact over multiple taxels. In consequence, we attain extreme superresolution with a 35-fold improvement of localization acuity (0.12 mm) over sensor resolution (4 mm). We envisage that these principles will enable cheap high-acuity tactile sensors that are highly customizable to suit their robotic use. Practical applications encompass any scenario where an end-effector must be placed accurately via the sense of touch.
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- Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering - Senior Lecturer
- UKRI CDT in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI
- Electronics Materials, Circuits & Systems Research Unit (EMaCS)
- Centre for Digital, Manufacturing & Design (dMaDe)
- Bath Institute for the Augmented Human
- Centre for Bioengineering & Biomedical Technologies (CBio)
- Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS)
Person: Research & Teaching, Core staff, Affiliate staff