Alexander L. Burka
aburka (at) seas (dot) upenn (dot) edu

Haptics Group Research: Surface Texture Perception


Poster (Haptics Symposium, Philadelphia, 4/2016)
WIP paper (Haptics Symposium, non-archival)
Conference paper #1 (MFI, Baden-Baden, 9/2016)
Workshop paper #1 (AAAI SSS 2017, Palo Alto, 3/2017)
Conference paper #2 (ICRA 2017, Singapore, 5/2017)
Conference paper #3 (World Haptics 2017, Fürstenfeldbruck, 6/2017)


The purpose of this research is to explore multimodal surface perception. Most mobile robots have cameras, while relatively few have dedicated haptic sensors. (However, many have sensors such as accelerometers which can be repurposed for haptic perception.) Moreover, while research in computer vision is very well developed with large public datasets available, there are still many open questions as how best to identify objects from haptic sensations, and little data. This project aims to create a multimodal sensing device, use it to collect a large dataset of surface texture percepts, and (in collaboration with Trevor Darrell's lab at UC Berkeley) develop new algorithms for haptic surface classification. We are especially interested in using artificial neural networks to learn correspondences between a surface's visual appearance and haptic feel.

Here are the major components: