A shared-control teleoperation architecture for nonprehensile object transportation
Mario Selvaggio, Jonathan Cacace, Claudio Pacchierotti, Fabio Ruggiero and Paolo Robuffo Giordano
This article proposes a shared-control teleoperation architecture for robot manipulators transporting an object on a tray. Differently from many existing studies about remotely operated robots with firm grasping capabilities, we consider the case in which, in principle, the object can break its contact with the robot end-effector. The proposed shared-control approach automatically regulates the remote robot motion commanded by the user and the end-effector orientation to prevent the object from sliding over the tray. Furthermore, the human operator is provided with haptic cues informing about the discrepancy between the commanded and executed robot motion, which assist the operator throughout the task execution.
We carried out trajectory tracking experiments employing an autonomous 7 degree-of-freedom (DoF) manipulator and compared the results obtained using the proposed approach with two different control schemes (i.e., constant tray orientation and no motion adjustment). We also carried out a human-subjects study involving eighteen participants, in which a 3-DoF haptic device was used to teleoperate the robot linear motion and display haptic cues to the operator. In all experiments, the results clearly show that our control approach outperforms the other solutions in terms of sliding prevention, robustness, commands tracking, and user’s preference.