Manipulation of deformable objects without modeling and simulating deformation
- Dmitry Berenson
- 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on…
We present a method that allows both autonomous and human-robot collaborative manipulation of deformable objects. The method does not require modeling and simulating deformation. Our method is based on the concept of diminishing rigidity, which we use to quickly compute an approximation to the Jacobian of the deformable object without using simulation. This Jacobian is used to drive the points within the deformable object towards a set of targets. However, this method alone is insufficient to avoid stretching the object beyond its allowed length and to avoid gripper collision with obstacles. Thus a key part of our approach is incorporating techniques to avoid collision and excessive stretching. Our experiments show how to perform a folding task with a two-dimensional deformable object, where the robot and a user simultaneously manipulate the deformable object. Our experiments are conducted in simulation but we emphasize that our method does not have access to the model of the deformable object used by the simulator, although we assume we are able to sense the geometry of the object (though sensing may be noisy). While our method is local (i.e. a controller), we find that it is quite versatile in the range of tasks it can perform, especially since it has no knowledge of the model of the deformable object.