Simulation of the SynTouch BioTac Sensor

  • Philipp Ruppel
  • Yannick Jonetzko
  • Michael Görner
  • Norman HendrichEmail author
  • Jianwei Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 867)


We present a data-driven approach to simulate the BioTac tactile fingertip sensor within physics engines. The behavior of the sensor is first captured in an experimental setup that records positions and external forces of contacts as well as the sensor output. This data is then used to fit a non-linear model that maps force-annotated mesh collisions of a simulator to sensor responses.

We discuss two deep network architectures that reproduce the BioTac data with high accuracy and demonstrate the simulation of simple grasps with the Shadow Dexterous Hand and five BioTac sensors. We present an open source plug-in for the simulator Gazebo and release the captured dataset alongside this paper.


Tactile sensing Physics simulation Dexterous manipulation Deep neural networks 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Ruppel
    • 1
  • Yannick Jonetzko
    • 1
  • Michael Görner
    • 1
  • Norman Hendrich
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jianwei Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Informatics DepartmentUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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