Pose from Pushing

Yan-Bin Jia and Michael Erdmann

1996 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation


In the absence of vision, grasping an object often relies on tactile feedback from the fingertips. Before force closure is formed, where on the object a fingertip touches can usually be felt from the motion of contact on the fingertip during a small amount of pushing. In this paper we investigate the first stage of such ``blind'' grasping. More specifically, we study the problem of determining the pose of a known planar object by pushing. Assuming sliding friction in the plane, a dynamic analysis of pushing results in a numerical algorithm that computes the object pose from three instantaneous contact positions on a fingertip. Simulations and experiments (with an Adept robot) have been conducted to demonstrate the sensing feasibility.

Inspired by the way a human hand grasps, this work can be viewed as a primitive step in exploring interactive sensing in grasping tasks.