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TACTIP - Tactile fingertip device, texture analysis through optical tracking of skin features

Rossiter, Jonathon; Winstone, Benjamin; Griffiths, Gareth; Pipe, Tony; Melhuish, Chris


Jonathon Rossiter

Benjamin Winstone

Gareth Griffiths

Chris Melhuish
Professor of Robotics & Autonomous Systems


Nathan Lepora

Anna Mura

Holger Krapp

Paul Verschure

Tony Prescott


In this paper we present texture analysis results for TACTIP, a versatile tactile sensor and artificial fingertip which exploits compliant materials and optical tracking. In comparison to previous MEMS sensors, the TACTIP device is especially suited to tasks for which humans use their fingertips; examples include object manipulation, contact sensing, pressure sensing and shear force detection. This is achieved whilst maintaining a high level of robustness. Previous development of the TACTIP device has proven the device’s capability to measure force interaction and identify shape through edge detection. Here we present experimental results which confirm the ability to also identify textures. This is achieved by measuring the vibration of the in-built human-like skin features in relation to textured profiles. Modifications to the mechanical design of the TACTIP are explored to increase the sensitivity to finer textured profiles. The results show that a contoured outer skin, similar to a finger print, increases the sensitivity of the device.


Rossiter, J., Winstone, B., Griffiths, G., Pipe, T., & Melhuish, C. (2013). TACTIP - Tactile fingertip device, texture analysis through optical tracking of skin features. In N. Lepora, A. Mura, H. Krapp, P. Verschure, & T. Prescott (Eds.), Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems (323-334).

Conference Name Living Machines 2013
Conference Location London, UK
Start Date Jul 29, 2013
End Date Aug 2, 2013
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8064 LNAI
Pages 323-334
Series Title Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Book Title Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems
ISBN 9783642398018
Keywords tactile sensing, biomimetic, fingertip, sensor, robotics, texture classification
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Living Machines 2013