Develop robust and compliant whole-body motion planning and control for interacting with unknown objects
Two objectives are present in a mobile manipulation scenario.
The first is to control the base to move to the desired location, while the second is to grasp and maintain stable support for objects that may not be rigidly connected to the robot (e.g., carrying a container of liquid or a tray of items).
Additional requirements arise from our target domain: the need for human-predictable motion and behaviour adaptation to a wide range of users. Our approach is to address this as a holistic control optimisation problem.
It is worth noting that although these objectives are not strictly opposed, optimisation necessarily results in some efficiency trade-offs to enable compliant physical interaction that is robust to disturbances.
Our results will factor directly into the safety and acceptability of operating mobile manipulation robots in the healthcare domain.