Efficient break-away friction ratio and slip prediction based on haptic surface exploration

Xiaojing Song, Hongbin Liu, Kaspar Althoefer, Thrishantha Nanayakkara, Lakmal D. Seneviratne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The break-away friction ratio (BF-ratio), which is the ratio between friction force and the normal force at slip occurrence, is important for the prediction of incipient slip and the determination of optimal grasping forces. Conventionally, this ratio is assumed constant and approximated as the static friction coefficient. However, this ratio varies with acceleration rates and force rates applied to the grasped object and the object material, which lead to difficulties in determining optimal grasping forces that avoid slip. In this paper, we propose a novel approach based on the interactive forces to allow a robotic hand to predict object slip before its occurrence. The approach only requires the robotic hand to have a short haptic surface exploration over the object surface before manipulating it. Then, the frictional properties of the finger-object contact can be efficiently identified, and the BF-ratio can be real-time predicted to predict slip occurrence under dynamic grasping conditions. Using the predicted BF-ratio as a slip, threshold is demonstrated to be more accurate than using the static/Coulomb friction coefficient. The presented approach has been experimentally evaluated on different object surfaces, showing good performance in terms of prediction accuracy, robustness, and computational efficiency.

Original languageBritish English
Article number6595565
Pages (from-to)203-219
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Break-away ratio
  • Haptic surface exploration
  • Slip prediction


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