Global estimation of an object’s pose using tactile sensing

Joao Maria Bimbo, Petar Kormushev, Kaspar Alexander Althoefer, Hongbin Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)


It is essential for a successful completion of a robot object grasping and manipulation task to accurately sense the manipulated object’s pose. Typically, computer vision is used to obtain this information, but it may not be available or be reliable in certain situations. This paper presents a global optimisation method where tactile and force sensing together with the robot’s proprioceptive data are used to find an object’s pose. This method is used to either improve an estimate of the object’s pose given by vision or globally estimating it when no vision is available. Results show that the proposed method consistently improves an initial estimate (e.g. from vision) and is also able to find the object’s pose without any prior estimate. To demonstrate the performance of the algorithm, an experiment is carried out where the robot is handed a small object (a pencil) and inserts it into a narrow hole without any use of vision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
JournalAdvanced Robotics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2015


  • global search
  • grasping
  • pose estimation
  • tactile sensing


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