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Chapter 53 — Multiple Mobile Robot Systems

Lynne E. Parker, Daniela Rus and Gaurav S. Sukhatme

Within the context of multiple mobile, and networked robot systems, this chapter explores the current state of the art. After a brief introduction, we first examine architectures for multirobot cooperation, exploring the alternative approaches that have been developed. Next, we explore communications issues and their impact on multirobot teams in Sect. 53.3, followed by a discussion of networked mobile robots in Sect. 53.4. Following this we discuss swarm robot systems in Sect. 53.5 and modular robot systems in Sect. 53.6. While swarm and modular systems typically assume large numbers of homogeneous robots, other types of multirobot systems include heterogeneous robots. We therefore next discuss heterogeneity in cooperative robot teams in Sect. 53.7. Once robot teams allow for individual heterogeneity, issues of task allocation become important; Sect. 53.8 therefore discusses common approaches to task allocation. Section 53.9 discusses the challenges of multirobot learning, and some representative approaches. We outline some of the typical application domains which serve as test beds for multirobot systems research in Sect. 53.10. Finally, we conclude in Sect. 53.11 with some summary remarks and suggestions for further reading.

Miniature air-vehicle, cooperative timing missions

Author  Tim McLain, Randy Beard

Video ID : 207

Small UAVs are used to demonstrate cooperation, including in aerial maneuvers such as flying in formation, intersecting at a point, and landing simultaneously.

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.

Free-floating autonomous underwater manipulation: Connector plug/unplug

Author  CIRS Universitat de Girona

Video ID : 789

Peg-in-hole demonstration performed autonomously with an underwater-vehicle manipulator system. The implementation is done through MoveIt!.

Chapter 23 — Biomimetic Robots

Kyu-Jin Cho and Robert Wood

Biomimetic robot designs attempt to translate biological principles into engineered systems, replacing more classical engineering solutions in order to achieve a function observed in the natural system. This chapter will focus on mechanism design for bio-inspired robots that replicate key principles from nature with novel engineering solutions. The challenges of biomimetic design include developing a deep understanding of the relevant natural system and translating this understanding into engineering design rules. This often entails the development of novel fabrication and actuation to realize the biomimetic design.

This chapter consists of four sections. In Sect. 23.1, we will define what biomimetic design entails, and contrast biomimetic robots with bio-inspired robots. In Sect. 23.2, we will discuss the fundamental components for developing a biomimetic robot. In Sect. 23.3, we will review detailed biomimetic designs that have been developed for canonical robot locomotion behaviors including flapping-wing flight, jumping, crawling, wall climbing, and swimming. In Sect. 23.4, we will discuss the enabling technologies for these biomimetic designs including material and fabrication.

Landing and perching UAV

Author  Alexis L. Desbiens, Alan T. Asbeck , Mark R. Cutkosky

Video ID : 412

This UAV uses microspines to engage with asperities on the surface and has a tuned suspension to absorb impact forces.

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.

DLR's Agile Justin plays catch with Rollin' Justin

Author  DLR

Video ID : 661

DLR has developed a new robot named Agile Justin that is capable of tossing a baseball. This seemed like a natural complement to Rollin' Justin's ability to catch a baseball, so they teamed them up for a friendly game of "catch."

Chapter 53 — Multiple Mobile Robot Systems

Lynne E. Parker, Daniela Rus and Gaurav S. Sukhatme

Within the context of multiple mobile, and networked robot systems, this chapter explores the current state of the art. After a brief introduction, we first examine architectures for multirobot cooperation, exploring the alternative approaches that have been developed. Next, we explore communications issues and their impact on multirobot teams in Sect. 53.3, followed by a discussion of networked mobile robots in Sect. 53.4. Following this we discuss swarm robot systems in Sect. 53.5 and modular robot systems in Sect. 53.6. While swarm and modular systems typically assume large numbers of homogeneous robots, other types of multirobot systems include heterogeneous robots. We therefore next discuss heterogeneity in cooperative robot teams in Sect. 53.7. Once robot teams allow for individual heterogeneity, issues of task allocation become important; Sect. 53.8 therefore discusses common approaches to task allocation. Section 53.9 discusses the challenges of multirobot learning, and some representative approaches. We outline some of the typical application domains which serve as test beds for multirobot systems research in Sect. 53.10. Finally, we conclude in Sect. 53.11 with some summary remarks and suggestions for further reading.

Robot Pebbles - MIT developing self-sculpting smart-sand robots

Author  Kyle Gilpin, Ara Knaian, Kent Koyanagi, Daniela Rus

Video ID : 211

Researchers at the Distributed Robotics Laboratory at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are developing tiny robots that could self-assemble into functional tools, then self-disassemble after use. Dubbed the "smart sand," the tiny robots (measuring 0.1 cubic cm) would contain microprocessors and EG magnets which could latch, communicate, and transfer power to each other, enabling them to form life-size replicas of miniature models. https://groups.csail.mit.edu/drl/wiki/index.php?title=Robot_Pebbles

Chapter 67 — Humanoids

Paul Fitzpatrick, Kensuke Harada, Charles C. Kemp, Yoshio Matsumoto, Kazuhito Yokoi and Eiichi Yoshida

Humanoid robots selectively immitate aspects of human form and behavior. Humanoids come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from complete human-size legged robots to isolated robotic heads with human-like sensing and expression. This chapter highlights significant humanoid platforms and achievements, and discusses some of the underlying goals behind this area of robotics. Humanoids tend to require the integration ofmany of the methods covered in detail within other chapters of this handbook, so this chapter focuses on distinctive aspects of humanoid robotics with liberal cross-referencing.

This chapter examines what motivates researchers to pursue humanoid robotics, and provides a taste of the evolution of this field over time. It summarizes work on legged humanoid locomotion, whole-body activities, and approaches to human–robot communication. It concludes with a brief discussion of factors that may influence the future of humanoid robots.

3-D, collision-free motion combining locomotion and manipulation by humanoid robot HRP-2 (experiment)

Author  Eiichi Yoshida

Video ID : 598

In this video, the whole-body motion generation described in video 598 is experimentally validated, using the HRP-2 humanoid robot.

Chapter 74 — Learning from Humans

Aude G. Billard, Sylvain Calinon and Rüdiger Dillmann

This chapter surveys the main approaches developed to date to endow robots with the ability to learn from human guidance. The field is best known as robot programming by demonstration, robot learning from/by demonstration, apprenticeship learning and imitation learning. We start with a brief historical overview of the field. We then summarize the various approaches taken to solve four main questions: when, what, who and when to imitate. We emphasize the importance of choosing well the interface and the channels used to convey the demonstrations, with an eye on interfaces providing force control and force feedback. We then review algorithmic approaches to model skills individually and as a compound and algorithms that combine learning from human guidance with reinforcement learning. We close with a look on the use of language to guide teaching and a list of open issues.

Learning from failure II

Author  Aude Billard

Video ID : 477

This video illustrates in a second example how learning from demonstration can benefit from failed demonstrations (as opposed to learning from successful demonstrations). Here, the robot Robota must learn how to coordinate its two arms in a timely manner for the left arm to hit the ball with the racket right on time, after the left arm sent the ball flying by hitting the catapult. More details on this work is available in: A. Rai, G. de Chambrier, A. Billard: Learning from failed demonstrations in unreliable systems, Proc. IEEE-RAS Int. Conf. Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), Atlanta (2013), pp. 410 – 416; doi: 10.1109/HUMANOIDS.2013.7030007 .

Chapter 76 — Evolutionary Robotics

Stefano Nolfi, Josh Bongard, Phil Husbands and Dario Floreano

Evolutionary Robotics is a method for automatically generating artificial brains and morphologies of autonomous robots. This approach is useful both for investigating the design space of robotic applications and for testing scientific hypotheses of biological mechanisms and processes. In this chapter we provide an overview of methods and results of Evolutionary Robotics with robots of different shapes, dimensions, and operation features. We consider both simulated and physical robots with special consideration to the transfer between the two worlds.

Evolved homing walk on rough ground

Author  Phil Husbands

Video ID : 373

Evolved, simulated hexapod walks over rough terrain while homing on a beacon. This behavior was incrementally evolved with the controlling neural-network architecture which was expanding at each stage. Work done at Sussex University by Eric Vaughan.

Exploration and homing for battery recharge

Author  Dario Floreano

Video ID : 118

Evolved Khepera robot performing exploration and homing for battery recharge. The robot enters the recharging area approximately 2 s before full-battery discharge.

Chapter 6 — Model Identification

John Hollerbach, Wisama Khalil and Maxime Gautier

This chapter discusses how to determine the kinematic parameters and the inertial parameters of robot manipulators. Both instances of model identification are cast into a common framework of least-squares parameter estimation, and are shown to have common numerical issues relating to the identifiability of parameters, adequacy of the measurement sets, and numerical robustness. These discussions are generic to any parameter estimation problem, and can be applied in other contexts.

For kinematic calibration, the main aim is to identify the geometric Denavit–Hartenberg (DH) parameters, although joint-based parameters relating to the sensing and transmission elements can also be identified. Endpoint sensing or endpoint constraints can provide equivalent calibration equations. By casting all calibration methods as closed-loop calibration, the calibration index categorizes methods in terms of how many equations per pose are generated.

Inertial parameters may be estimated through the execution of a trajectory while sensing one or more components of force/torque at a joint. Load estimation of a handheld object is simplest because of full mobility and full wrist force-torque sensing. For link inertial parameter estimation, restricted mobility of links nearer the base as well as sensing only the joint torque means that not all inertial parameters can be identified. Those that can be identified are those that affect joint torque, although they may appear in complicated linear combinations.

Calibration and accuracy validation of a FANUC LR Mate 200iC industrial robot

Author  Ilian Bonev

Video ID : 430

This video shows excerpts from the process of calibrating a FANUC LR Mate 200iC industrial robot using two different methods. In the first method, the position of one of three points on the robot end-effector is measured using a FARO laser tracker in 50 specially selected robot configurations (not shown in the video). Then, the robot parameters are identified. Next, the position of one of the three points on the robot's end-effector is measured using the laser tracker in 10,000 completely arbitrary robot configurations. The mean positioning error after calibration was found to be 0.156 mm, the standard deviation (std) 0.067 mm, the mean+3*std 0.356 mm, and the maximum 0.490 mm. In the second method, the complete pose (position and orientation) of the robot end-effector is measured in about 60 robot configurations using an innovative method based on Renishaw's telescoping ballbar. Then, the robot parameters are identified. Next, the position of one of the three points on the robot's end-effector is measured using the laser tracker in 10,000 completely arbitrary robot configurations. The mean position error after calibration was found to be 0.479 mm, the standard deviation (std) 0.214 mm, and the maximum 1.039 mm. However, if we limit the zone for validations, the accuracy of the robot is much better. The second calibration method is less efficient but relies on a piece of equipment that costs only $12,000 (only one tenth the cost of a laser tracker).