Haptic exploration of unknown surfaces with discontinuities

Rodrigo S. Jamisola, Petar Kormushev, Antonio Bicchi, Darwin G. Caldwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents an approach for exploring unknown surfaces with discontinuities using only force/torque information. The motivation is to build an information map of an unknown object or environment by performing a fully-autonomous haptic exploration. Examples of discontinuities considered here are contours with sharp turns (such as wall corners) and abrupt dips (such as cliffs). Compliant motion control using force information has the ability to conform to unknown, smooth surfaces but not to discontinuous surfaces. This paper investigates solutions to address the limitation in compliant motion control over discontinuities while maintaining a desired normal force along the surface. We propose two methods to address the problem: (1) superposition of motion and force control and (2) rotation of axes for force and motion control. The theoretical principles are discussed and experimental results with a KUKA lightweight arm moving in 2D space are presented. Both approaches successfully negotiate objects with sharp 90-degree and 120-degree turns while still maintaining good tracking of the desired force.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIROS 2014 Conference Digest - IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479969340
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2014
Event2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Sept 14 2014Sept 18 2014


Other2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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