Inferring Interaction Force from Visual Information without Using Physical Force Sensors
Wonjun Hwang, Soo-Chul Lim*
Sensors, 17(11), 2455, 2017
In this paper, we present an interaction force estimation method that uses visual information rather than that of a force sensor. Specifically, we propose a novel deep learning-based method utilizing only sequential images for estimating the interaction force against a target object, where the shape of the object is changed by an external force. The force applied to the target can be estimated by means of the visual shape changes. However, the shape differences in the images are not very clear. To address this problem, we formulate a recurrent neural network-based deep model with fully-connected layers, which models complex temporal dynamics from the visual representations. Extensive evaluations show that the proposed learning models successfully estimate the interaction forces using only the corresponding sequential images, in particular in the case of three objects made of different materials, a sponge, a PET bottle, a human arm, and a tube. The forces predicted by the proposed method are very similar to those measured by force sensors.