Is the Bottle Half Full or Half Empty?

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crossposted from

Matt Piccoli (University of Pennsylvania) and Jürgen Sturm (University of Freiburg) did a lot more than break eggs and learn about how things move. They also tested the limits of PR2's fingertip pressure sensors with a seemingly simple task: identifying, without looking, if a juice bottle is open or closed, and full or empty.

Tactile information is invaluable when determining properties of objects that are visually inaccessible. In this vein, Matt and Jürgen developed a tactile perception strategy that can be used to detect the internal state of liquid containers. By measuring a bottle's reaction to a force applied by a gripper, their system can recognize whether the bottle is full or empty, and open or closed. The system learned this information from a set of training experiments carried out on different types of bottles and soda cans. Knowing whether a bottle is open or closed can help a robot determine the level of care required when manipulating the object.

You can find the code for Matt and Jürgen's work in the pr2_gripper_controller package on

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This page contains a single entry by kwc published on September 16, 2009 10:09 PM.

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