The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #9811

Title:Sensitive Whiskers for texture recognition purposes
Date: 1998
Abstract:This project investigates the ability of humans to perceive, learn and recognise textures by sliding over them. Touch is involved in our world environment representation, and posses a potential which can facilitate the performing of some tasks which have been not thought before (consider for instance how blind people recognise objects).To investigate these facts the project involved the design of a Sensitive Whisker for texture recognition purposes and showed how this texture recognition ability would enable a mobile robot to represent the outside environment and orient itself in it.The sensitive whilskers comprised two patches of piezo film sensor (PVDF) each one with a bristle stuck on it which transmitted vibrations from the texture to the PVDF. The sensor is slid over the textured surfaces in order to extract their characteristic features, that will feed a Kohonen network for the recognition process.A LEGO mobile robot was designed to carry the sensor and to provide the mechanism for the sliding motion. the mobile robot communicates with a PC, in which all the signal processing will be carried out, through an umbilical cord.This dissertation shows how a mobile robot with the unique information provided by a simple Sensitive Whisker sensor was able to recognise a subset of the presented textures and make its way through them. The complexity of the task implied several restrictions on the project and the results obtained suggest that this field should be the object of further study.

[Search These Pages] [DAI Home Page] [Comment]