Laurence Willemet is a postdoctoral researcher at the Cognitive Robotics Department within the 3mE Faculty of TU Delft. She received her master’s degree in 2017 in technology applied to health in Strasbourg in France, where she worked on reducing surgeons’ fatigue during a robot-assisted suture task. She is currently finishing her PhD about the tactile perception of friction, started in Aix-Marseille Université in France. During her PhD, she studied how the soft skin tissues deform to allow a fast sensation of friction on initial contact and during incipient slippage in humans. The results can inform the design of advanced tactile sensors for robotics or prosthetics. She received the Best Short Paper award of the IEEE transactions on Haptics in 2021.
At the TU Delft, she studies how humans regulate grasping forces when they interact with rubbery or slippery objects in the quest of finding a compact representation of the skin deformation that allows human dexterity. She believes that finding the primitives of touch is key to enable dexterous manipulation in soft robots.