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Chapter 14 — AI Reasoning Methods for Robotics

Michael Beetz, Raja Chatila, Joachim Hertzberg and Federico Pecora

Artificial intelligence (AI) reasoning technology involving, e.g., inference, planning, and learning, has a track record with a healthy number of successful applications. So can it be used as a toolbox of methods for autonomous mobile robots? Not necessarily, as reasoning on a mobile robot about its dynamic, partially known environment may differ substantially from that in knowledge-based pure software systems, where most of the named successes have been registered. Moreover, recent knowledge about the robot’s environment cannot be given a priori, but needs to be updated from sensor data, involving challenging problems of symbol grounding and knowledge base change. This chapter sketches the main roboticsrelevant topics of symbol-based AI reasoning. Basic methods of knowledge representation and inference are described in general, covering both logicand probability-based approaches. The chapter first gives a motivation by example, to what extent symbolic reasoning has the potential of helping robots perform in the first place. Then (Sect. 14.2), we sketch the landscape of representation languages available for the endeavor. After that (Sect. 14.3), we present approaches and results for several types of practical, robotics-related reasoning tasks, with an emphasis on temporal and spatial reasoning. Plan-based robot control is described in some more detail in Sect. 14.4. Section 14.5 concludes.

From knowledge grounding to dialogue processing

Author  Séverin Lemaignan, Rachid Alami

Video ID : 705

This 2012 video documents the entire process of perspective-aware knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation and storage, and dialogue understanding. It demonstrates several examples of the natural interaction of a human with a PR2 robot, including speech recognition and action execution.

Chapter 21 — Actuators for Soft Robotics

Alin Albu-Schäffer and Antonio Bicchi

Although we do not know as yet how robots of the future will look like exactly, most of us are sure that they will not resemble the heavy, bulky, rigid machines dangerously moving around in old fashioned industrial automation. There is a growing consensus, in the research community as well as in expectations from the public, that robots of the next generation will be physically compliant and adaptable machines, closely interacting with humans and moving safely, smoothly and efficiently - in other terms, robots will be soft.

This chapter discusses the design, modeling and control of actuators for the new generation of soft robots, which can replace conventional actuators in applications where rigidity is not the first and foremost concern in performance. The chapter focuses on the technology, modeling, and control of lumped parameters of soft robotics, that is, systems of discrete, interconnected, and compliant elements. Distributed parameters, snakelike and continuum soft robotics, are presented in Chap. 20, while Chap. 23 discusses in detail the biomimetic motivations that are often behind soft robotics.

Active damping control on the DLR Hand Arm System

Author  Florian Petit, Alin Albu-Schäffer

Video ID : 548

The effectivness of active damping control is shown in a writing task performed by the DLR Hand Arm System.

Chapter 14 — AI Reasoning Methods for Robotics

Michael Beetz, Raja Chatila, Joachim Hertzberg and Federico Pecora

Artificial intelligence (AI) reasoning technology involving, e.g., inference, planning, and learning, has a track record with a healthy number of successful applications. So can it be used as a toolbox of methods for autonomous mobile robots? Not necessarily, as reasoning on a mobile robot about its dynamic, partially known environment may differ substantially from that in knowledge-based pure software systems, where most of the named successes have been registered. Moreover, recent knowledge about the robot’s environment cannot be given a priori, but needs to be updated from sensor data, involving challenging problems of symbol grounding and knowledge base change. This chapter sketches the main roboticsrelevant topics of symbol-based AI reasoning. Basic methods of knowledge representation and inference are described in general, covering both logicand probability-based approaches. The chapter first gives a motivation by example, to what extent symbolic reasoning has the potential of helping robots perform in the first place. Then (Sect. 14.2), we sketch the landscape of representation languages available for the endeavor. After that (Sect. 14.3), we present approaches and results for several types of practical, robotics-related reasoning tasks, with an emphasis on temporal and spatial reasoning. Plan-based robot control is described in some more detail in Sect. 14.4. Section 14.5 concludes.

SHAKEY: Experimentation in robot learning and planning (1969)

Author  Peter Hart, Nils Nilsson

Video ID : 704

SRI's robot Shakey (built 1966-1972) was the first mobile robot that could reason about its surroundings. This 1969 movie provides a good look at how Shakey worked.

Chapter 40 — Mobility and Manipulation

Oliver Brock, Jaeheung Park and Marc Toussaint

Mobile manipulation requires the integration of methodologies from all aspects of robotics. Instead of tackling each aspect in isolation,mobilemanipulation research exploits their interdependence to solve challenging problems. As a result, novel views of long-standing problems emerge. In this chapter, we present these emerging views in the areas of grasping, control, motion generation, learning, and perception. All of these areas must address the shared challenges of high-dimensionality, uncertainty, and task variability. The section on grasping and manipulation describes a trend towards actively leveraging contact and physical and dynamic interactions between hand, object, and environment. Research in control addresses the challenges of appropriately coupling mobility and manipulation. The field of motion generation increasingly blurs the boundaries between control and planning, leading to task-consistent motion in high-dimensional configuration spaces, even in dynamic and partially unknown environments. A key challenge of learning formobilemanipulation consists of identifying the appropriate priors, and we survey recent learning approaches to perception, grasping, motion, and manipulation. Finally, a discussion of promising methods in perception shows how concepts and methods from navigation and active perception are applied.

Mobile robot helper

Author  Kazuhiro Kosuge, Manabu Sato, Norihide Kazamura

Video ID : 788

The mobile robot helper has two 7-DOF arms, force/torque sensors. Named Mr. Helper, it helps people to move objects, using FT sensor and impedance control system.

Chapter 56 — Robotics in Agriculture and Forestry

Marcel Bergerman, John Billingsley, John Reid and Eldert van Henten

Robotics for agriculture and forestry (A&F) represents the ultimate application of one of our society’s latest and most advanced innovations to its most ancient and important industries. Over the course of history, mechanization and automation increased crop output several orders of magnitude, enabling a geometric growth in population and an increase in quality of life across the globe. Rapid population growth and rising incomes in developing countries, however, require ever larger amounts of A&F output. This chapter addresses robotics for A&F in the form of case studies where robotics is being successfully applied to solve well-identified problems. With respect to plant crops, the focus is on the in-field or in-farm tasks necessary to guarantee a quality crop and, generally speaking, end at harvest time. In the livestock domain, the focus is on breeding and nurturing, exploiting, harvesting, and slaughtering and processing. The chapter is organized in four main sections. The first one explains the scope, in particular, what aspects of robotics for A&F are dealt with in the chapter. The second one discusses the challenges and opportunities associated with the application of robotics to A&F. The third section is the core of the chapter, presenting twenty case studies that showcase (mostly) mature applications of robotics in various agricultural and forestry domains. The case studies are not meant to be comprehensive but instead to give the reader a general overview of how robotics has been applied to A&F in the last 10 years. The fourth section concludes the chapter with a discussion on specific improvements to current technology and paths to commercialization.

An autonomous robot for de-leafing cucumber plants

Author  Elder J. van Henten, Bart A.J. van Tuijl, G. J. Hoogakker, M.J. van der Weerd, Jochen Hemming, J.G. Kornet, Jan Bontsema

Video ID : 309

In cucumber production, amongst other crops, removal of old non-productive leaves in the lower regions of the plant is a time consuming task. Based on the platform of the autonomous cucumber harvester at Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands, a robot for de-leafing cucumber plants was developed. The platform's camera system identifies and locates the main stems of the plants. The gripper is sent to the plant and moved upwards. Leaves encountered during this upward motion are separated from the plant using a thermal cutting device which prevents transmission of viruses from plant to plant. An interesting feature of this machine is that, with slight modifications of software and hardware, two greenhouse operations can be performed.

Chapter 20 — Snake-Like and Continuum Robots

Ian D. Walker, Howie Choset and Gregory S. Chirikjian

This chapter provides an overview of the state of the art of snake-like (backbones comprised of many small links) and continuum (continuous backbone) robots. The history of each of these classes of robot is reviewed, focusing on key hardware developments. A review of the existing theory and algorithms for kinematics for both types of robot is presented, followed by a summary ofmodeling of locomotion for snake-like and continuum mechanisms.

Modsnake swimming

Author  Howie Choset

Video ID : 169

The CMU Modsnake swimming in a pool.

Chapter 25 — Underwater Robots

Hyun-Taek Choi and Junku Yuh

Covering about two-thirds of the earth, the ocean is an enormous system that dominates processes on the Earth and has abundant living and nonliving resources, such as fish and subsea gas and oil. Therefore, it has a great effect on our lives on land, and the importance of the ocean for the future existence of all human beings cannot be overemphasized. However, we have not been able to explore the full depths of the ocean and do not fully understand the complex processes of the ocean. Having said that, underwater robots including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have received much attention since they can be an effective tool to explore the ocean and efficiently utilize the ocean resources. This chapter focuses on design issues of underwater robots including major subsystems such as mechanical systems, power sources, actuators and sensors, computers and communications, software architecture, and manipulators while Chap. 51 covers modeling and control of underwater robots.

First recorded dive of the deep-sea ROV Hamire at a depth of 5,882 m

Author  Hyun-Taek Choi

Video ID : 796

This video shows the first deep-sea trial of the ROV Hamire developed by KRISO (Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering) at a depth of 5,882 m.

Chapter 8 — Motion Control

Wan Kyun Chung, Li-Chen Fu and Torsten Kröger

This chapter will focus on the motion control of robotic rigid manipulators. In other words, this chapter does not treat themotion control ofmobile robots, flexible manipulators, and manipulators with elastic joints. The main challenge in the motion control problem of rigid manipulators is the complexity of their dynamics and uncertainties. The former results from nonlinearity and coupling in the robot manipulators. The latter is twofold: structured and unstructured. Structured uncertainty means imprecise knowledge of the dynamic parameters and will be touched upon in this chapter, whereas unstructured uncertainty results from joint and link flexibility, actuator dynamics, friction, sensor noise, and unknown environment dynamics, and will be treated in other chapters. In this chapter, we begin with an introduction to motion control of robot manipulators from a fundamental viewpoint, followed by a survey and brief review of the relevant advanced materials. Specifically, the dynamic model and useful properties of robot manipulators are recalled in Sect. 8.1. The joint and operational space control approaches, two different viewpoints on control of robot manipulators, are compared in Sect. 8.2. Independent joint control and proportional– integral–derivative (PID) control, widely adopted in the field of industrial robots, are presented in Sects. 8.3 and 8.4, respectively. Tracking control, based on feedback linearization, is introduced in Sect. 8.5. The computed-torque control and its variants are described in Sect. 8.6. Adaptive control is introduced in Sect. 8.7 to solve the problem of structural uncertainty, whereas the optimality and robustness issues are covered in Sect. 8.8. To compute suitable set point signals as input values for these motion controllers, Sect. 8.9 introduces reference trajectory planning concepts. Since most controllers of robotmanipulators are implemented by using microprocessors, the issues of digital implementation are discussed in Sect. 8.10. Finally, learning control, one popular approach to intelligent control, is illustrated in Sect. 8.11.

JediBot - Experiments in human-robot sword-fighting

Author  Torsten Kröger, Ken Oslund, Tim Jenkins, Dan Torczynski, Nicholas Hippenmeyer, Radu Bogdan Rusu, Oussama Khatib

Video ID : 759

Real-world sword-fighting between human opponents requires extreme agility, fast reaction time and dynamic perception capabilities. This video shows experimental results achieved with a 3-D vision system and a highly reactive control architecture which allowfs a robot to sword fight against human opponents. An online trajectory generator is used as an intermediate layer between low-level trajectory-following controllers and high-level visual perception. This architecture enables robots to react nearly instantaneously to the unpredictable human motions perceived by the vision system as well as to sudden sword contacts detected by force and torque sensors. Results show how smooth and highly dynamic motions are generated on-the-fly while using the vision and force/torque sensor signals in the feedback loops of the robot-motion controller. Reference: T. Kröger, K. Oslund, T. Jenkins, D. Torczynski, N. Hippenmeyer, R. B. Rusu, O. Khatib: JediBot - Experiments in human-robot sword-fighting, Proc. Int. Symp. Exp. Robot., Québec City (2012)

Chapter 75 — Biologically Inspired Robotics

Fumiya Iida and Auke Jan Ijspeert

Throughout the history of robotics research, nature has been providing numerous ideas and inspirations to robotics engineers. Small insect-like robots, for example, usually make use of reflexive behaviors to avoid obstacles during locomotion, whereas large bipedal robots are designed to control complex human-like leg for climbing up and down stairs. While providing an overview of bio-inspired robotics, this chapter particularly focus on research which aims to employ robotics systems and technologies for our deeper understanding of biological systems. Unlike most of the other robotics research where researchers attempt to develop robotic applications, these types of bio-inspired robots are generally developed to test unsolved hypotheses in biological sciences. Through close collaborations between biologists and roboticists, bio-inspired robotics research contributes not only to elucidating challenging questions in nature but also to developing novel technologies for robotics applications. In this chapter, we first provide a brief historical background of this research area and then an overview of ongoing research methodologies. A few representative case studies will detail the successful instances in which robotics technologies help identifying biological hypotheses. And finally we discuss challenges and perspectives in the field.

Biologically inspired robotics (or bio-inspired robotics in short) is a very broad research area because almost all robotic systems are, in one way or the other, inspired from biological systems. Therefore, there is no clear distinction between bio-inspired robots and the others, and there is no commonly agreed definition [75.1]. For example, legged robots that walk, hop, and run are usually regarded as bio-inspired robots because many biological systems rely on legged locomotion for their survival. On the other hand, many robotics researchers implement biologicalmodels ofmotion control and navigation onto wheeled platforms, which could also be regarded as bio-inspired robots [75.2].

RobotRoach with adaptive gait-pattern variations

Author  Fumiya Iida, Auke Ijspeert

Video ID : 112

This video presents variations of adaptive-gait patterns inspired by insect locomotion. The computational models of central pattern generators were implemented on the physical platform to investigate its robustness and its flexibility of locomotion in many variations of its environment.

Chapter 52 — Modeling and Control of Aerial Robots

Robert Mahony, Randal W. Beard and Vijay Kumar

Aerial robotic vehicles are becoming a core field in mobile robotics. This chapter considers some of the fundamental modelling and control architectures in the most common aerial robotic platforms; small-scale rotor vehicles such as the quadrotor, hexacopter, or helicopter, and fixed wing vehicles. In order to control such vehicles one must begin with a good but sufficiently simple dynamic model. Based on such models, physically motivated control architectures can be developed. Such algorithms require realisable target trajectories along with real-time estimates of the system state obtained from on-board sensor suite. This chapter provides a first introduction across all these subjects for the quadrotor and fixed wing aerial robotic vehicles.

Autopilot using total-energy control

Author  Randy Beard

Video ID : 436

This video shows simulation results of an autopilot wich controls the lateral modes using a standard nested loop structure; the longitudinal autopilot is designed using the total-energy control structure. The commands to the autopilot are for airspeed, course angle, and altitude. The video shows a number of different step commands in these variables and the performance of a six-DOF aerodynamic model of a Zagi-style fixed-wing aircraft.