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Acquiring robust, force-based assembly skills from human demonstration

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2 Author(s)
M. Skubic ; Dept. of Comput. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Missouri Univ., Columbia, MO, USA ; R. A. Volz

Robots have been used successfully in structured settings, where the environment is controlled; this research is inspired by the vision of robots moving beyond structured, controlled settings. The work focuses on the problem of teaching robots force-based assembly skills from human demonstration. To avoid position dependencies, force-based discrete states (contact formations) are used to describe qualitatively how contact is being made with the environment. Sensorimotor skills are modeled using a hybrid control model, which provides a mechanism for combining continuous low-level force control with higher-level discrete event control. A change in qualitative, discrete state constitutes an event and triggers a new control command to the robot, which moves the assembly toward a new contact formation. In this way, the skill execution is not dependent on absolute position but rather responds to changes in the force-based qualitative state. Experimental results are presented which validate the approach and show how skill acquisition can be accomplished even with an imperfect demonstration

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 6 )