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In this paper, we describe a planner for a humanoid robot that is capable of finding a path in an environment with movable objects, whereas previous motion planner only deals with an environment with fixed objects. We address an environment manipulation problem for a humanoid robot that finds a walking path from the given start location to the goal location while displacing obstructing objects on the walking path. This problem requires more complex configuration space than previous researches using a mobile robot especially in a manipulation phase, since a humanoid robot has many degrees of freedom in its arm than a forklift type robot. Our approach is to build environment manipulation task graph that decompose the given task into subtasks which are solved using navigation path planner or whole body motion planner. We also propose a standing location search and a displacing obstacle location search for connecting subtasks. Efficient method to solve manipulation planning that relies on whole body inverse kinematics and motion planning technology is also shown. Finally, we show experimental results in an environment with movable objects such as chairs and trash boxes. The planner finds an action sequence consists of walking paths and manipulating obstructing objects to walk from the start position to the goal position.
Date of Conference: 28 Sept.-2 Oct. 2004