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Research Papers

Cooperative Towing With Multiple Robots

[+] Author and Article Information
Peng Cheng

GRASP Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104chpeng@grasp.upenn.edu

Jonathan Fink

GRASP Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104jonfink@grasp.upenn.edu

Vijay Kumar

GRASP Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104kumar@grasp.upenn.edu

Jong-Shi Pang

Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801jspang@illinois.edu

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J. Mechanisms Robotics 1(1), 011008 (Aug 05, 2008) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2960539 History: Received April 28, 2008; Revised June 24, 2008; Published August 05, 2008

In this paper, we address the cooperative towing of payloads by multiple mobile robots that move in the plane. Robots are attached via cables to an object or a pallet carrying a payload, and they coordinate their motion to manipulate the payload through a planar warehouselike environment. We formulate a quasistatic model for manipulation and derive equations of motion that yield the motion of the payload for a prescribed motion of the robots in the presence of dry friction and tension constraints. We present the experimental results that demonstrate the basic concepts.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Robots , Cables
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Multiple cooperative manipulation by towing

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Figure 6

(a) Snapshots and trajectory from a representative experimental trial of two robots towing the object. The solid curves with arrows show the robot trajectories. (b) Comparison between the predicted and measured velocities of the object during the two-robot towing experiment shown in (a).

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Figure 7

(a) Plot of part trajectory while being towed along a desired twist by three robots. The desired and measured rotation axes are shown in the upper left. (b) Error on instantaneous twist components with error bars showing the measurement accuracy of our tracking system.

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Figure 8

((a)–(c)) Snapshots and trajectories from representative experimental trials of three robots towing the part. The solid red curves show the robot trajectories.

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Figure 2

Quasistatic manipulation: The object is supported by three support points Si with normal forces (out of the plane) λn,i and tangential frictional forces λt,i. It is pulled by m cables, each exerting a force λc,j. Note the robot Rj pulls by moving the object with a prescribed (given) velocity.

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Figure 3

The Scarab platform used for experiments and a photograph showing three Scarabs towing a payload

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Figure 4

(a) Snapshots from a representative experimental trajectory for one robot towing the object. The solid line with arrow shows the robot trajectory. (b) Comparison between the predicted and measured velocities of the object during the one-robot towing experiment shown in (a). Error bars indicate the measurement errors.

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Figure 5

((a)–(c)) Snapshots and trajectories from representative experimental trials of two robots towing the part. The solid curves with arrows show the robot trajectories.

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