Title: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tactile Sensing for Robotic Hands
Dr. Taylor, Advisor
Dr. Wardi, Chair
The overall objective of the proposed research is to develop ultrasonic imaging and tactile sensing algorithms for robotic hands. Since ultrasonic devices work due to the propagation of a pressure wave, they have the potential to provide several advantages over other imaging systems, while also having a low cost, power and computation budget. Moreover, the information in an ultrasonic echo due to reflections from an object can reveal important aspects of the object, which can be leveraged by both control and classification algorithms to make the hand more intelligent. The focus of this research is to develop algorithms and hardware for high resolution 3-D imaging, develop object localization and trajectory planning algorithms for the robot hand to precisely grasp objects, execute precise motion control algorithms to extract object-relevant features for use in control and classification algorithms to distinguish between objects, and implementation on a low-cost underactuated robot hand. Through this research, we aim to improve the dexterity of robot hands for use in unstructured environments and lower the overall cost of entry for both robotic hands and air-based ultrasonic imaging hardware.