Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Spring 2016 GRASP Seminar Series: Veronica Santos, UCLA, “Toward Advanced Haptic Perception for Artificial Hands”

March 18, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Haptic perception remains a grand challenge for artificial hands.  The functionality of artificial dexterous manipulators could be enhanced by artificial “haptic intelligence” that enables identification of objects and their features via touch alone.  This could be especially useful when reliable visual and/or proprioceptive feedback are unavailable.  Studies will be presented in which a robot hand outfitted with a deformable, multimodal tactile sensor was used to replay human-inspired haptic “exploratory procedures” to perceive salient geometric features such as edges and fingertip-sized bumps and pits.  Tactile signals generated by active fingertip motions were used to extract inputs for offline support vector classification and regression models.  More recently, we have been using reinforcement learning to learn goal-based policies for a functional contour-following task: the closure of a ziplock bag.  Q-learning was used to learn a policy for online decision-making according to a reward structure that favored functional fingerpad-zipper spatial relationships.  Preliminary results will be shown for Q-learning and Contextual Multi-armed Bandit approaches. The ability to perceive local shape could be used to advance semi-autonomous robot systems and to provide haptic feedback to human teleoperators of devices ranging from neuroprostheses to bomb defusal robots.  The ability to perceive and manipulate deformable contours could be extended to the robotic manipulation of thread, wire, and rope.


- Learn More

Veronica J. Santos is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the UCLA Biomechatronics Lab (http://BiomechatronicsLab.ucla.edu). Dr. Santos received her B.S. in mechanical engineering with a music minor from the University of California at Berkeley (1999), was a Quality and R&D Engineer at Guidant Corporation, and received her M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a biometry minor from Cornell University (2007). While a postdoc at the University of Southern California, she contributed to the development of a biomimetic tactile sensor for prosthetic hands. From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Santos was an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program at Arizona State University. Her research interests include human hand biomechanics, human-machine systems, haptics, tactile sensors, machine perception, prosthetics, and robotics for grasp and manipulation. Dr. Santos was selected for an NSF CAREER Award (2010), two ASU Engineering Top 5% Teaching Awards (2012, 2013), an ASU Young Investigator Award (2014), and as an NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium participant (2010).


March 18, 2016
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: