Collective Transport of Unconstrained Objects via Implicit Coordination and Adaptive Compliance

Nic Carey, Justin Werfel

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
2021

Transportation figures coordinating to move a desk

Abstract

We present a decentralized control algorithm for robots to aid in carrying an unknown load. Coordination occurs solely through sensing of the forces on or movement of the shared load. Robots prevent undesired motion of the load while permitting movement in the task-relevant subspace, and stabilize against unexpected events by a transient decrease in compliance. The algorithm requires no direct communication between agents, and minimal knowledge of the system or task. We demonstrate the approach in simulation using a commercially available compliant robotic platform.

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