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Human-Robot Cooperative Transport

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human robot collaboration

Project Motivation

As robots become more capable assistants, it is important that they be able to collaborate leveraging implicit communication and situational awareness. This project of human-robot cooperative transport exemplifies a scenario where the robot serves as a valuable teammate but it is untenable for the human to issue constant explicit commands. The robot instead must be able to observe the human as well as the environment and predict where the human is trying to go.  In a centralized system (all robots), a single governing controller would specify how every agent should move to transport the object to the goal location and 'waste' as little energy as possible compressing or stretching the object during transport. This compressing or stretching can be characterized as interaction forces (forces that don't contribute to motion), and minimizing these is often considered a metric for efficient transport. Therefore, the goal is to have the robot leverage its knowledge of the human and environment to transport efficiently. 

Research Objectives

Research objectives include:

  • Develop robotic platform capable of modeling humans intended motion from measured quantity
  • Utilize human observation and the surrounding environment to predict the desired motion
  • Understand how to grasp/re-grasp objects with the human leader for successful placement

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