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Robotic Sensing and Perception

Sensing and state estimation are essential design components for any robotic system. At a basic level, integrated sensors enable estimation of the robot’s state for feedback control. At a higher level, robot perception, defined as the task-oriented interpretation of sensor data, deals with understanding of the robot’s surrounding environment. Hence, the development of novel sensing techniques and devices, and strategic deployment of them are central to our robotics research.

Smart Sensors for Soft Structures and Robots

Soft structures and robots exhibit complex behaviours which emerge from intended compliance in their structure, allowing them to passively conform to the mechanical constraints of their environment. In order to control their behaviour, the deformed state of the robot’s soft body must be monitored and incorporated into the control algorithm during the operation, using appropriate sensing systems. However, the high dimensional deformation of soft robots often cannot be measured using the conventional solid-state sensors.

To address this drawback, the development and integration of soft sensors that can accurately measure shape changes in the soft robots, and ideally preserve the inherent softness in their body, have been an important research focus within the community. In particular, we are interested in innovating sensors that can measure force/ torque, shape, stretch and torsion in flexible structures and robots, see our relevant publications at the bottom of this page.

Selected publications

Sareh, S., Noh, Y., Li, M., Ranzani, T., Liu, H., Althoefer, K. (2015) Macro-bend optical sensing for pose measurement in soft robot arms, Smart Mater. Struct. 24 125024.

Y. Noh, J. Bimbo, S. Sareh et al., “Multi-axis force/torque sensor based on simply-supported beam and optoelectronics,” Sensors, vol. 16, no. 11, 2016.

Sareh, S. and Noh, Y (2018) Low profile stretch sensor for soft wearable robotics, IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft 2018), Livorno, Italy.

Noh, Y., Liu, H., Sareh, S., Chathuranga, D., Wurdemann, H., Rhode, K., Althoefer, K. (2016) Image-based Optical Miniaturized Three-Axis Force Sensor for Cardiac Catheterization, IEEE Sensors, Volume:PP Issue:99.

Noh, Y., Sareh, S., Wudermann, H., Liu, H., Althoefer, K., (2015) Three Axial Fiber-Optic Body Force Sensor for Flexible Manipulators, Sensors-11652-2015.

Sareh, S., Noh, Y., Ranzani, T., Liu, H., Althoefer, K., (2015) A 7.5mm Steiner chain fiber-optic system for multi-segment flex sensing, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2336-2341.

Sareh, S., Jiang, A., Faragasso, A., Noh, Y., Nanayakkara, T., Dasgupta, P., Seneviratne, L., Wurdemann, H., Althoefer, K., (2014) Bio-Inspired Tactile Sensor Sleeve for Soft Surgical Manipulators, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2014, Hong Kong, China.

Li, M., Ridzuan, M., Sareh, S., Seneviratne, L.D., Dasgupta, P., Althoefer K. (2014) Pseudo-haptics for rigid tool/soft surface interaction feedback in virtual environments, Journal of Mechatronics, Volume 24, Issue 8, Pages 1092-1100.

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RCA Robotics Laboratory