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Volume 25 Issue 4 - Publication Date: 1 April 2006
 
Knotting/Unknotting Manipulation of Deformable Linear Objects
 
H. Wakamatsu, E. Arai, Department of Materials and Manufacturing Science, Graduate School of Eng. Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan and S. Hirai Department of Robotics, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan
 
Here, we propose a planning method for knotting/unknotting of deformable linear objects. First, we propose a topological description of the state of a linear object. Second, transitions between these states are defined by introducing four basic operations. Then, possible sequences of crossing state transitions, i.e. possible manipulation processes, can be generated once the initial and the objective states are given. Third, a method for determining grasping points and their directions of movement is proposed to realize derived manipulation processes. Our proposed method indicated that it is theoretically possible for any knotting manipulation of a linear object placed on a table to be realized by a one-handed robot with three translational DOF and one rotational DOF. Furthermore, criteria for evaluation of generated plans are introduced to reduce the candidates of manipulation plans. Fourth, a planning method for tying knots tightly is established because they fulfill their fixing function by tightening them. Finally, we report knotting/unknotting manipulation performed by a vision-guided system to demonstrate the usefulness of our approach.
 
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