Carrying the uncarriable: a deformation-agnostic and human-cooperative framework for unwieldy objects using multiple robots

by   Doganay Sirintuna, et al.

This manuscript introduces an object deformability-agnostic framework for co-carrying tasks that are shared between a person and multiple robots. Our approach allows the full control of the co-carrying trajectories by the person while sharing the load with multiple robots depending on the size and the weight of the object. This is achieved by merging the haptic information transferred through the object and the human motion information obtained from a motion capture system. One important advantage of the framework is that no strict internal communication is required between the robots, regardless of the object size and deformation characteristics. We validate the framework with two challenging real-world scenarios: co-transportation of a wooden rigid closet and a bulky box on top of forklift moving straps, with the latter characterizing deformable objects. In order to evaluate the generalizability of the proposed framework, a heterogenous team of two mobile manipulators that consist of an Omni-directional mobile base and a collaborative robotic arm with different DoFs is chosen for the experiments. The qualitative comparison between our controller and the baseline controller (i.e., an admittance controller) during these experiments demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed framework especially when co-carrying deformable objects. Furthermore, we believe that the performance of our framework during the experiment with the lifting straps offers a promising solution for the co-transportation of bulky and ungraspable objects.


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