Authors: Abdullah Haroon Rasheed, Victor Romero, Florence Bertails-Descoubes, Stefanie Wuhrer, Jean-Sebastien Franco, Arnaud Lazarus Description: Measuring friction coefficients between cloth and an external body is a longstanding issue in mechanical engineering, never yet addressed with a pure vision-based system. The latter offers the prospect of simpler, less invasive friction measurement protocols compared to traditional ones, and can vastly benefit from recent deep learning advances. Such a novel measurement strategy however proves challenging, as no large labelled dataset for cloth contact exists, and creating one would require thousands of physics workbench measurements with broad coverage of cloth-material pairs. Using synthetic data instead is only possible assuming the availability of a soft-body mechanical simulator with true-to-life friction physics accuracy, yet to be verified. We propose a first vision-based measurement network for friction between cloth and a substrate, using a simple and repeatable video acquisition protocol. We train our network on purely synthetic data generated by a state-of-the-art frictional contact simulator, which we carefully calibrate and validate against real experiments under controlled conditions. We show promising results on a large set of contact pairs between real cloth samples and various kinds of substrates, with 93.6% of all measurements predicted within 0.1 range of standard physics bench measurements.