VisTaNet: Attention Guided Deep Fusion for Surface Roughness Classification

Prasanna Kumar Routray, Aditya Sanjiv Kanade, Jay Bhanushali, Manivannan Muniyandi

Human texture perception is a weighted average of multi-sensory inputs: visual and tactile. While the visual sensing mechanism extracts global features, the tactile mechanism complements it by extracting local features. The lack of coupled visuotactile datasets in the literature is a challenge for studying multimodal fusion strategies analogous to human texture perception. This paper presents a visual dataset that augments an existing tactile dataset. We propose a novel deep fusion architecture that fuses visual and tactile data using four types of fusion strategies: summation, concatenation, max-pooling, and attention. Our model shows significant performance improvements (97.22%) in surface roughness classification accuracy over tactile only (SVM - 92.60%) and visual only (FENet-50 - 85.01%) architectures. Among the several fusion techniques, attention-guided architecture results in better classification accuracy. Our study shows that analogous to human texture perception, the proposed model chooses a weighted combination of the two modalities (visual and tactile), thus resulting in higher surface roughness classification accuracy; and it chooses to maximize the weightage of the tactile modality where the visual modality fails and vice-versa.

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