Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Automated Construction of Robotic Manipulation Programs
by Diankov, Rosen, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 2010, 239; 3448143
Abstract (Summary)

Society is becoming more automated with robots beginning to perform most tasks in factories and starting to help out in home and office environments. One of the most important functions of robots is the ability to manipulate objects in their environment. Because the space of possible robot designs, sensor modalities, and target tasks is huge, researchers end up having to manually create many models, databases, and programs for their specific task, an effort that is repeated whenever the task changes. Given a specification for a robot and a task, the presented framework automatically constructs the necessary databases and programs required for the robot to reliably execute manipulation tasks. It includes contributions in three major components that are critical for manipulation tasks.

The first is a geometric-based planning system that analyzes all necessary modalities of manipulation planning and offers efficient algorithms to formulate and solve them. This allows identification of the necessary information needed from the task and robot specifications. Using this set of analyses, we build a planning knowledge-base that allows informative geometric reasoning about the structure of the scene and the robot's goals. We show how to efficiently generate and query the information for planners.

The second is a set of efficient algorithms considering the visibility of objects in cameras when choosing manipulation goals. We show results with several robot platforms using grippers cameras to boost accuracy of the detected objects and to reliably complete the tasks. Furthermore, we use the presented planning and visibility infrastructure to develop a completely automated extrinsic camera calibration method and a method for detecting insufficient calibration data.

The third is a vision-centric database that can analyze a rigid object's surface for stable and discriminable features to be used in pose extraction programs. Furthermore, we show work towards a new voting-based object pose extraction algorithm that does not rely on 2D/3D feature correspondences and thus reduces the early-commitment problem plaguing the generality of traditional vision-based pose extraction algorithms.

In order to reinforce our theoric contributions with a solid implementation basis, we discuss the open-source planning environment OpenRAVE, which began and evolved as a result of the work done in this thesis. We present an analysis of its architecture and provide insight for successful robotics software environments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kanade, Takeo, Kuffner, James
School: Carnegie Mellon University
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-B 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Industrial engineering, Robotics, Computer science
Keywords: Automated construction, Camera calibration, Inverse kinematics, Object recognition, Planning, Robotic manipulation
Publication Number: 3448143
ISBN: 978-1-124-53547-0
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