L3 F-TOUCH: A Wireless GelSight with Decoupled Tactile and Three-axis Force Sensing

    •  Li, W., Wang, M., Li, J., Su, Y., Jha, D.K., Qian, X., Althoefer, K., Liu, H., "L3 F-TOUCH: A Wireless GelSight with Decoupled Tactile and Three-axis Force Sensing", IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), DOI: 10.1109/​LRA.2023.3292575, Vol. 8, No. 8, pp. 5148-5155, July 2023.
      BibTeX TR2023-081 PDF
      • @article{Li2023jul,
      • author = {Li, Wanlin and Wang, Meng and Li, Jiarui and Su, Yao and Jha, Devesh K. and Qian, Xingyuan and Althoefer, Kaspar and Liu, Hangxin},
      • title = {L3 F-TOUCH: A Wireless GelSight with Decoupled Tactile and Three-axis Force Sensing},
      • journal = {IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)},
      • year = 2023,
      • volume = 8,
      • number = 8,
      • pages = {5148--5155},
      • month = jul,
      • doi = {10.1109/LRA.2023.3292575},
      • url = {}
      • }
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GelSight sensors that estimate contact geometry and force by reconstructing the deformation of their soft elastomer from images would yield poor force measurements when the elastomer deforms uniformly or reaches deformation saturation. Here we present an L3 F-TOUCH sensor that considerably en- hances the three-axis force sensing capability of typical GelSight sensors. Specifically, the L3 F-TOUCH sensor comprises: (i) an elastomer structure resembling the classic GelSight sensor design for fine-grained contact geometry sensing; and (ii) a mechan- ically simple suspension structure to enable three-dimensional elastic displacement of the elastomer structure upon contact. Such displacement is tracked by detecting the displacement of an ARTag and is transformed to three-axis contact force via calibration. We further revamp the sensor’s optical system by fixing the ARTag on the base and reflecting it to the same camera viewing the elastomer through a mirror. As a result, the tactile and force sensing modes can operate independently, but the entire L3 F-TOUCH remains Light-weight and Low- cost while facilitating a wireLess deployment. Evaluations and experiment results demonstrate that the proposed L3 F-TOUCH sensor compromises GelSight’s limitation in force sensing and is more practical compared with equipping commercial three-axis force sensors. Thus, the L3 F-TOUCH could further empower existing Vision-based Tactile Sensors (VBTSs) in replication and deployment.