IROS 2014 Workshop

Active Touch Sensing in Animals and Robots

IEEE/RSJ Intl Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

Sept 18 8:30-17:00, Salon 8, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago

This workshop addresses the challenges posed by actively sensing and interacting with the world through the sense of touch, whether the latter is implemented through a technological or biological system.  Active touch sensing is recovering information about the world by ‘touching’ rather than ‘being touched’ – by interpreting signals from sensors whose motion is deliberately controlled to facilitate information gain.  The workshop is sponsored by the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Haptics.

Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Haptics:

We are pleased to announce a special issue of IEEE Transactions on Haptics on Active Touch Sensing in Robots, Humans, and Other Animals coinciding with the topic of the workshop.  Contributors to the latter will be invited to submit articles to the special issue.  Submissions will be peer reviewed consistent with journal practices.



The workshop will consist of short oral presentations interleaved with breakout/poster/demo sessions designed to maximize interaction among the participants.

Preliminary Schedule:

  • 8:30 Registration and Logistics
  • 8:45 Introduction and Welcome
  • 9:00 Talks I
    • Katherine Kuchenbecker, Univ. Pennsylvania. "Robotic Learning of Haptic Adjectives Through Physical Interaction"
    • Melina Hale, Univ. Chicago. "Touch sensing by fish fins: morphology, physiology and integration with behavior"
    • Jeffrey Kahn Jr. (James Tangorra), Drexel Univ. "Biologically-inspired contact sensing with beams and webbing in air and underwater"
    • Nick Tsagarakis (Darwin Caldwell), Italian Inst. of Technology Genoa
    • Sliman Bensmaia, Univ. Chicago
    • Lee Miller, Northwestern Univ. "Creating a sense of directed limb motion through a biomimetic cortical interface"
  • 10:00 Breakout Session I
  • 11:00 Talks II
    • Jeremy Fishel, Syntouch LLC. "Evolution of optimal movements for tactile perception using Bayesian exploration"
    • Mitra Hartmann, Northwestern Univ., "Exploring the tactile natural scene"
    • Lucie A. Huet (Mitra Hartmann), Northwestern Univ., "Sensing with whiskers: tactile signals and implications for robotics"

    • Greg Dudek, McGill Univ.
    • Vincent Hayward, Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie
    • Jonathan Platkiewicz (Hod Lipson, Vincent Hayward), New York Univ. and CUNY. "A fingertip-like haptic edge detector based on shear sensing"
  • 12:00 Breakout Session II
  • 13:00 Lunch (on your own)
  • 14:15 Talks III
    • Yon Visell, Drexel Univ. "Recovering surface microgeometry through active touch"
    • Veronica Santos, Univ. California Los Angeles. "Haptic exploration of geometric features with a robot fingertip and deformable tactile sensor"
    • Lynette Jones, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology. "Thermal sensing"
    • Alican Demir (Noah Cowan), Johns Hopkins Univ. "The Mechanics of Antennal Tactile Sensing"
    • Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee (Charlie Kemp), Georgia Inst. of Technology. "Sensing Incidental Contact to Inform Manipulation in Clutter"
    • Michael Wiertlewski, Northwestern Univ. "Capturing and Reproducing Tactile Textures"
  • 15:15 Breakout Session III
  • 16:15 Farewell Message
  • 16:30 End of Workshop


IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Chicago, Illinois Sept. 14-18, 2014

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Chicago, Illinois Sept. 14-18, 2014