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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T033517/1
Title: ViTac: Visual-Tactile Synergy for Handling Flexible Materials
Principal Investigator: Luo, Dr S
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Shadow Robot Company Ltd Unilever
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 26 October 2020 Ends: 25 October 2023 Value (£): 402,545
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Robotics & Autonomy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Aug 2020 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 5 and 6 August 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Handling flexible materials is common in industrial, domestic and retail applications, e.g., evaluating new fabric products in the fashion industry, sorting clothes at home and replenishing shelves in a clothing store. Such tasks have been highly dependent on human labour and are still challenging for autonomous systems due to the complex dynamics of flexible materials. This proposal aims to develop a new visuo-tactile integration mechanism for estimating the dynamic states and properties of flexible materials while they are being manipulated by robot hands. This technique offers the potential to revolutionise the autonomous systems for handling flexible materials, allowing inclusion of their automated handling in larger automated production processes and process management systems. While the initial system to be developed in this work is for handling the textiles, the same technology would have the potential to be applied in handling other flexible materials including fragile products in the food industry, flexible objects in manufacturing and hazardous materials in healthcare.
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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk