17 May 2013 Dynamic whole-body robotic manipulation
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The creation of dynamic manipulation behaviors for high degree of freedom, mobile robots will allow them to accomplish increasingly difficult tasks in the field. We are investigating how the coordinated use of the body, legs, and integrated manipulator, on a mobile robot, can improve the strength, velocity, and workspace when handling heavy objects. We envision that such a capability would aid in a search and rescue scenario when clearing obstacles from a path or searching a rubble pile quickly. Manipulating heavy objects is especially challenging because the dynamic forces are high and a legged system must coordinate all its degrees of freedom to accomplish tasks while maintaining balance. To accomplish these types of manipulation tasks, we use trajectory optimization techniques to generate feasible open-loop behaviors for our 28 dof quadruped robot (BigDog) by planning trajectories in a 13 dimensional space. We apply the Covariance Matrix Adaptation (CMA) algorithm to solve for trajectories that optimize task performance while also obeying important constraints such as torque and velocity limits, kinematic limits, and center of pressure location. These open-loop behaviors are then used to generate desired feed-forward body forces and foot step locations, which enable tracking on the robot. Some hardware results for cinderblock throwing are demonstrated on the BigDog quadruped platform augmented with a human-arm-like manipulator. The results are analogous to how a human athlete maximizes distance in the discus event by performing a precise sequence of choreographed steps.
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Yeuhi Abe, Yeuhi Abe, Benjamin Stephens, Benjamin Stephens, Michael P. Murphy, Michael P. Murphy, Alfred A. Rizzi, Alfred A. Rizzi, "Dynamic whole-body robotic manipulation", Proc. SPIE 8741, Unmanned Systems Technology XV, 87410V (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2016000; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2016000

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