Robots Feeling Layers of Cloth: A Step towards Household Assistance in Laundry Folding

One day, robots that can sense cloth layers will help with laundry
The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University has developed a new research that allows robots to feel the layers of fabric instead of relying solely on computer vision. This work could help robots assist with household chores like folding laundry.

The human eye and touch are used to pick up a glass, or a piece cloth. The task is so mundane that it requires little thought. These tasks are difficult for robots. It is difficult to quantify the amount of information gathered by touch, and it has been hard for robots to simulate this sense.

David Held, assistant professor at the School of Computer Science and director of the Robots Perceiving and Doing Lab (R-Pad), said: \”We look at an object, reach for it and then use touch to ensure that we are in the correct position to grasp it.\” We are naturally good at tactile sensing. We don’t give it much thought, so we aren’t aware of its value.