TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Force, Torque and Contacts in Grasping and Assembly

  • Object Motion-Decoupled Internal Force Control for a Compliant Multifingered Hand Authors: Prattichizzo, Domenico; Malvezzi, Monica; Wimboeck, Thomas; Aggravi, Marco
    Compliance in multifingered hand improves grasp stability and effectiveness of the manipulation tasks. Compliance of robotic hands depends mainly on the joint control parameters, on the mechanical design of the hand, as joint passive springs, and on the contact properties. In object grasping the primary task of the robotic hand is the control of internal forces which allows to satisfy the contact constraints and consequently to guarantee a stable grasp of the object. When compliance is an essential element of the multifingered hand, and the control of the internal forces is not designed to be decoupled from the object motion, it happens that a change in the internal forces causes the object trajectory to deviate from the planned path with consequent performance degradation. This paper studies the structural conditions to design an internal force controller decoupled from object motions. The analysis is constructive and a controller of internal forces is proposed. We will refer to this controller as object motion-decoupled control of internal forces. The force controller has been successfully tested on a realistic model of the DLR Hand II. This controller provides a trajectory interface allowing to vary the internal forces (and to specify object motions) of an underactuated hand, which can be used by higher-level modules, e.g. planning tools.
  • Robust, Inexpensive Resonant Frequency Based Contact Detection for Robotic Manipulators Authors: Backus, Spencer; Dollar, Aaron
    This paper presents a method for detecting contact on a compliant link utilizing a method to sense changes in the resonant frequency of the link due to external contact. The approach uses an inexpensive accelerometer mounted on or inside the compliant link and a phase locked loop circuit to oscillate the link at its resonant frequency. Using this approach, we are able to reliably sense contact anywhere on the link with a contact force threshold sensitivity of between 0.05 and 0.15 N depending on the contact location.
  • Testing Pressurized Spacesuit Glove Torque with an Anthropomorphic Robotic Hand Authors: Roberts, Dustyn; Kim, Joo H.
    While robotic hands have been developed for manipulation and grasping, their potential as tools for performance evaluation of engineered products - particularly compliant garments that are not easily modeled – has not been broadly studied. In this research, the development of a low-cost anthropomorphic robotic hand is introduced that is designed to characterize glove stiffness in a pressurized environment. The anthropomorphic robotic hand was designed to mimic a human hand in a neutral posture corresponding to the naturally relaxed position in zero gravity, and includes the transverse arch, longitudinal arch, and oblique flexion of the rays. The resulting model also allows for realistic donning and doffing of the prototype spacesuit glove, its pressurization, and torque testing of individual joints. Solid models and 3D printing enabled the rapid design iterations necessary to successfully work with the compliant pressure garment. The performance of the robotic hand is experimentally demonstrated with a spacesuit glove for different levels of pressures, and a unique data processing method is used to calculate the required actuator torque at each finger's knuckle joint. The reliable measurement method confirmed that glove finger torque increases as the internal pressure increases. The proposed robotic design and method provide an objective and systematic way of evaluating the performance of compliant gloves.
  • Learning Grasping Force from Demonstration Authors: Lin, Yun; Ren, Shaogang; Clevenger, Matthew; Sun, Yu
    This paper presents a novel force learning framework to learn fingertip force for a grasping and manipulation process from a human teacher with a force imaging approach. A demonstration station is designed to measure fingertip force without attaching force sensor on fingertips or objects so that this approach can be used with daily living objects. A Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) based machine learning approach is applied on the fingertip force and position to obtain the motion and force model. Then a force and motion trajectory is generated with Gaussian Mixture Regression (GMR) from the learning result. The force and motion trajectory is applied to a robotic arm and hand to carry out a grasping and manipulation task. An experiment was designed and carried out to verify the learning framework by teaching a Fanuc robotic arm and a BarrettHand a pick-and-place task with demonstration. Experimental results show that the robot applied proper motions and forces in the pick-and-place task from the learned model.
  • Revised Force Control Using a Compliant Sensor with a Position Controlled Robot Authors: Lange, Friedrich; Jehle, Claudius; Suppa, Michael; Hirzinger, Gerd
    A different way of force control is presented, that is especially advantageous for position controlled robots. Instead of usual force control laws we rely on the well tuned position control loop and just use the force sensor to measure the target pose or to predict the desired trajectory. In combination with a compliant sensor we introduce an inherently stable framework of force control which almost inhibits all control errors. After an unexpected impact the force error is reduced independently from the sensor's bandwidth or delays in signal processing. Thus the (inevitable) impact force is more significant than the measured force control errors. The special case of a sensor that is mounted far away from a vertex-face contact is discussed, too.
  • Force Controlled Robotic Assembly without a Force Sensor Authors: Stolt, Andreas; Linderoth, Magnus; Robertsson, Anders; Johansson, Rolf
    The traditional way of controlling an industrial robot is to program it to follow desired trajectories. This approach is sufficient as long as the accuracy of the robot and the calibration of the workcell is good enough. In robotic assembly these conditions are usually not fulfilled, because of uncertainties, e.g., variability in involved parts and objects not gripped accurately. Using force control is one way to handle these difficulties. This paper presents a method of doing force control without a force sensor. The method is based on detuning of the low-level joint control loops, and the force is estimated from the control error. It is experimentally verified in a small part assembly task with a kinematically redundant robotic manipulator.

Hybrid Legged Robots

  • Passive Dynamic Walking of Viscoelastic-Legged Rimless Wheel Authors: Asano, Fumihiko; Kawamoto, Junji
    imit cycle walking including passive-dynamic walkers is mathematically modeled as a nonlinear hybrid dynamical system with state jumps in general. The generated motion is natural and energy efficient, but it is still pointed out that there are many differences between limit cycle walking and human walking. Non-existence of the period of double-limb support in the former comes from the assumption of instantaneous inelastic collision and is one of the biggest differences from the latter. In human walking, the period of double-limb support accounts for more than 10% of one cycle, and this must have significant effects on the gait stability and efficiency. Also in robot walking, utilizing the effects of double-limb support is essential to achieve more flexible, adaptive and human-like behavior. This paper then develops a novel mathematical model of a passive rimless wheel that emerges double-limb support by using the leg viscoelasticity, and numerically investigates the fundamental properties.
  • Control of Dynamic Locomotion for the Hybrid Wheel-Legged Mobile Robot by using Unstable-Zeros Cancellation Authors: Suzumura, Akihiro; Fujimoto, Yasutaka
    In this paper, a new method of center of mass trajectory planning using the zero-phase low pass filter is proposed. This method is based on a table-cart model which simply describes the relationship between center of mass and zero moment point. Generally, zero moment point should be controlled to realize dynamic motion. This method can easily generate the center of mass trajectory which realizes the desired zero moment point. In our study, this method is applied to wheel-legged locomotion. We will show the result that zero moment point can be sufficiently controlled even if quadruped wheel-legged mobile robot is apploximated to a table-cart model. The effectiveness of the idea is validated by simulation and experiment.
  • Comparison of Cost Functions for Electrically Driven Running Robots Authors: Remy, C. David; Buffinton, Keith; Siegwart, Roland
    In this work we apply optimal control to create running gaits for the model of an electrically driven one legged hopper, and compare the results obtained for five different objective functions. By using high compliant series elastic actuators, the motions of joint and motor are decoupled, which allows the exploitation of natural dynamics. Depending on the cost function, this exploitation varies. Energy is injected at different points of time, the amplitude of actuator action changes significantly, and the optimal gear ratios differ by a factor of two. Variations are, however, comparable over a wide range of hopping heights and running velocities. Purely force-based cost functions prove to be ill-suited for such non-conservative systems, and it is shown that thermal electrical losses, in contrast to common belief, do not dominate energy expenditure. The numerical results are corroborated by detailed analytical considerations which give general insights into optimal excitation with electric actuators.
  • A Reduced-Order Dynamical Model for Running with Curved Legs Authors: Jun, Jae Yun; Clark, Jonathan
    Some of the unique properties associated with running with curved legs or feet (as opposed to point-contact feet) are examined in this work, including the rolling contact motion, the change of the leg's effective stiffness and rest length, the shift of the effective flexion point along the leg, and the compliant-vaulting motions over its tiptoe during stance. To examine these factors, a novel torque-driven reduced-order dynamical model with a clock-based control scheme and with a simple motor model is developed (named as torque-driven and damped half-circle-leg model (TD-HCL)). The controller parameters are optimized for running efficiency and forward speed using a direct search method, and the results are compared to those of other existing dynamical models such as the torque-driven and damped spring-loaded-inverted-pendulum (TD-SLIP) model, the torque-driven and damped two-segment-leg (TD-TSL) model, and the TD-SLIP with a rolling foot (TD-SLIP-RF) model. The results show that running with rolling is more efficient and more stable than running with legs that involve pin joint contact model. This work begins to explain why autonomous robots using curved legs run efficiently and robustly. New curved legs are designed and manufactured in order to validate these results.
  • FastRunner: A Fast, Efficient and Robust Bipedal Robot. Concept and Planar Simulation Authors: Cotton, Sebastien; OLARU, IONUT MIHAI CONSTANTIN; bellman, matthew; van der ven, tim; Godowski, Johnny C; Pratt, Jerry
    Bipedal robots are currently either slow, energetically inefficient and/or require a lot of control to maintain their stability. This paper introduces the FastRunner, a bipedal robot based on a new leg architecture. Simulation results of a Planar FastRunner demonstrate that legged robots can run fast, be energy efficient and inherently stable. The simulated FastRunner has a cost of transport of 1.4 and requires only a local feedback of the hip position to reach 35.4 kph from stop in simulation.
  • Zero-Moment Point Based Balance Control of Leg-Wheel Hybrid Structures with Inequality Constraints of Dynamic Behavior Authors: An, Sang-ik; Oh, Yonghwan; Kwon, Dong-Soo
    This paper discusses an unified method of the tracking and balancing controls for leg-wheel hybrid structures in an effort to improve the mobility over hard, flat surfaces. Preliminarily, we analyzed the contact constraint to formulate a dynamically decoupled model in the task space. Then, inequality constraints were determined to restrict the dynamic behavior of the system within the given bounds for the dynamic stability and the actuator saturation. The inequality constraints were applied to the reference control input that was designed for the mechanism to traverse the desired trajectories without the constraints. To find the constrained control input, a quadratic objective function was proposed to minimize the modification error of the control inputs. We tested the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm by comparing simulation results with our previous research.

Non-Holonomic Motion Planning

  • Model Predictive Navigation for Position and Orientation Control of Nonholonomic Vehicles Authors: Karydis, Konstantinos; Valbuena, Luis; Tanner, Herbert G.
    In this paper we consider a nonholonomic system in the form of a unicycle and steer it to the origin so that both position and orientation converge to zero while avoiding obstacles. We introduce an artificial reference field, propose a discontinuous control policy consisting of a receding horizon strategy and implement the resulting field-based controller in a way that theoretically guarantees for collision avoidance; convergence of both position and orientation can also be established. The analysis integrates an invariance principle for differential inclusions with model predictive control. In this approach there is no need for the terminal cost in receding horizon optimization to be a positive definite function.
  • Regularity Properties and Deformation of Wheeled Robots Trajectories Authors: Pham, Quang-Cuong; Nakamura, Yoshihiko
    Our contribution in this article is twofold. First, we identify the regularity properties of the trajectories of planar wheeled mobile robots. By regularity properties of a trajectory we mean whether this trajectory, or a function computed from it, belongs to a certain class <i>C<sup>n</sup></i> (the class of functions that are differentiable <i>n</i> times with a continuous <i>n</i><sup>th</sup> derivative). We show that, under some generic assumptions about the rotation and steering velocities of the wheels, any non-degenerate wheeled robot belongs to one of the two following classes. Class I comprises those robots whose admissible trajectories in the plane are <i>C</i><sup>1</sup> and piecewise <i>C</i><sup>2</sup>; and class II comprises those robots whose admissible trajectories are <i>C</i><sup>1</sup>, piecewise <i>C</i><sup>2</sup> and, in addition, curvature-continuous. Second, based on this characterization, we derive new feedback control and gap filling algorithms for wheeled mobile robots using the recently-developed affine trajectory deformation framework.
  • A Homicidal Differential Drive Robot Authors: Ruiz, Ubaldo; Murrieta-Cid, Rafael
    In this paper, we consider the problem of capturing an omnidirectional evader using a Differential Drive Robot in an obstacle free environment. At the beginning of the game the evader is at a distance L>l from the pursuer. The pursuer goal is to get closer from the evader than the capture distance l. The goal of the evader is to keep the pursuer at all time farther from it than this capture distance. In this paper, we found closed-form representations of the motion primitives and time-optimal strategies for each player. These strategies are in Nash Equilibrium, meaning that any unilateral deviation of each player from these strategies does not provide to such player benefit toward the goal of winning the game. We also present the condition defining the winner of the game and we construct a solution over the entire reduced space.
  • On the Dynamic Model and Motion Planning for a Class of Spherical Rolling Robots Authors: Svinin, Mikhail; Yamamoto, Motoji
    The paper deals with the dynamics and motion planning for a spherical rolling robot actuated by internal rotors that are placed on orthogonal axes. The driving principle for such a robot exploits non-holonomic constraints to propel the rolling carrier. The full mathematical model as well as its reduced version are derived, and the inverse dynamics is addressed. It is shown that if the rotors are mounted on three orthogonal axes, any feasible kinematic trajectory of the rolling robot is dynamically realizable. For the case of only two orthogonal axes of the actuation the condition of dynamic realizability of a feasible kinematic trajectory is established. The implication of this condition to motion planning in dynamic formulation is explored under a case study. It is shown there that in maneuvering the robot by tracing circles on the sphere surface the dynamically realizable trajectories are essentially different from those resulted from kinematic models.
  • Control of Nonprehensile Rolling Manipulation: Balancing a Disk on a Disk Authors: Ryu, Ji-Chul; Ruggiero, Fabio; Lynch, Kevin
    This paper presents stabilization control of a rolling manipulation system called the disk-on-disk. The system consists of two disks in which the upper disk (object) is free to roll on the lower disk (hand) under the influence of gravity. The goal is to stabilize the object at the unstable upright position directly above the hand. We use backstepping to derive a control law yielding global asymptotic stability. We present simulation as well as experimental results demonstrating the controller.
  • Estimating Probability of Collision for Safe Motion Planning under Gaussian Motion and Sensing Uncertainty Authors: Patil, Sachin; van den Berg, Jur; Alterovitz, Ron
    We present a fast, analytical method for estimating the probability of collision of a motion plan for a mobile robot operating under the assumptions of Gaussian motion and sensing uncertainty. Estimating the probability of collision is an integral step in many algorithms for motion planning under uncertainty and is crucial for characterizing the safety of motion plans. Our method is computationally fast, enabling its use in online motion planning, and provides conservative estimates to promote safety. To improve accuracy, we use a novel method to truncate estimated a priori state distributions to account for the fact that the probability of collision at each stage along a plan is conditioned on the previous stages being collision free. Our method can be directly applied within a variety of existing motion planners to improve their performance and the quality of computed plans. We apply our method to a car-like mobile robot with second order dynamics and to a steerable medical needle in 3D and demonstrate that our method for estimating the probability of collision is orders of magnitude faster than naive Monte Carlo sampling methods and reduces estimation error by more than 25% compared to prior methods.