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Constraints and Planning for Forceful Robotic Manipulation

Wednesday, November 10th, 4:10pm Tel Aviv time (3:10pm CET, 9:10am NY time)


Rachel Holladay, MIT


Enabling robots to perform multi-stage forceful manipulation tasks, such as
twisting a nut on a bolt or pulling a nail with a hammer claw, requires
enabling reasoning over interlocking force and motion constraints over discrete
and continuous choices. I categorize forceful manipulation as tasks where
exerting substantial forces is necessary to complete the task. While all
actions with contact involve forces, I focus on tasks where generating and
transmitting forces is a limiting factor of the task that must be reasoned over
and planned for. I'll first formalize constraints for forceful manipulation
tasks where the goal is to exert force, often through a tool, on an object or
the environment. These constraints define a task and motion planning problem
that we solve to search for both the sequences of discrete actions, or
strategy, and the continuous parameters of those actions.
This talk will primarily discuss two papers (IROS 2019, ICRA 2021) as well as
ongoing work. All work is done in collaboration with my two advisors, Tomás
Lozano-Pérez and Alberto Rodriguez. 
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