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Publication - Dr Nathan Lepora

    Object exploration using vision and active touch


    Yang, C & Lepora, N, 2018, ‘Object exploration using vision and active touch’. in: 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017): Proceedings of a meeting held 24-28 September 2017, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), pp. 6363-6386


    Achieving object exploration with passive vision and active touch has been under investigation for thirty years. We build upon recent progress in biomimetic active touch that combines perception via Bayesian evidence accumulation with controlling the tactile sensor using perceived stimulus location. Here, passive vision is combined with active touch by providing a visual prior for each perceptual decision, with the precision of this prior setting the relative contribution of each modality. The performance is examined on an edge following task using a tactile fingertip (the TacTip) mounted on a robot arm. We find that the quality of exploration is a U-shaped function of the relative contribution of vision and touch; moreover, multi-modal performance is more robust, completing the contour when touch alone fails. The overall system has several parallels with biological theories of perception, and thus plausibly represents a robot model of visuo-tactile exploration in humans.

    Full details in the University publications repository