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tactile sensors and urdf

asked 2012-05-27 10:07:59 -0500

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I am working on a robotic hand, and tactile sensors are available on each finger ... I made a urdf to describe the kinematics of the hand, and now I am thinking of including tactile sensors.

a) Is there a common approach to include tactile sensors in urdf ? Should it be done using some fixed joints for each sensor separately ? (there are about 100 sensors, it will be a pain to include :S)

b) The representation of them should be done using markers I presume ?

Also, any suggestions on the usage of tactile arrays with tf package ? googled but found nothing.

Thank you! Yaro

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It's not very helpful, but have you tried looking at the PR2's touch sensors?

David Lu gravatar image David Lu  ( 2012-05-27 15:19:56 -0500 )edit

I looked into (gripper.urdf.xacro) and (pr2_description/urdf/sensors) but found nothing related to tactile sensors. I looked into (pr2_gripper_sensor_controller) but everything seems to be hard wired and not generalised. Therefore I wonder if anybody used urdf and tf for tactile sensors ....

Yaroslav Tenzer gravatar image Yaroslav Tenzer  ( 2012-05-28 05:28:22 -0500 )edit

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answered 2012-05-29 02:15:16 -0500

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There is no tag for sensor description in "pure" URDF. There is, however, an URDF extension which can be used to provide to Gazebo sensor information.


This extension is only here to embed sensor specific data. If you don't have meta-data, adding a frame is enough. And yes, you will have to add one frame per sensor to model your sensors (i.e. if you want to compute your sensor position using tf).

You can use xacro to duplicate your sensor 100 times, it should make things easier for you.

However, URDF has not been designed to such as large amount of static frames, so it is probably a suboptimal solution. Maybe tf2 could help here...

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Asked: 2012-05-27 10:07:59 -0500

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Last updated: May 29 '12