Volume 23 Issue 7/8- Publication Date: 1 July-August 2004
Decentralized Algorithms for Multi-Robot Manipulation via Caging
G.A.S. Pereira, M.F.M. Campos, VERLab–Vision and Robotics Laboratory, DCC, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG 31270-010 Brazil and V. Kumar GRASP Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6228, USA

In this paper we address the problem of transporting objects with multiple mobile robots using the concept of "object closure". In contrast to other manipulation techniques that are typically derived from form or force closure constraints, object closure requires the less stringent condition that the object be trapped or caged by the robots. Our basic goal in this paper is to develop decentralized control policies for a group of robots to move toward a goal position while maintaining a condition of object closure. We present experimental results that show polygonal mobile robots controlled using visual feedback, transporting a convex polygonal object in an obstacle free environment toward a prescribed goal.

Multimedia Key
= Video = Data = Code = Image
Example One: Test for object closure based on the object’s orientation computed in real time. (2.8MB)
Example Two: Three robots switching modes to achieve object closure. (2.8MB)
Example Three: Three robots caging a triangular object. (2.9MB)
Example Four: Close-up of the robots in the manipulation task. (3.3MB)
Example Five: Four robots “shepherding” a circular holonomic robot. The circular robot is running a simple obstacle avoidance algorithm. (3.0MB)
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