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This paper introduces a switching command-based whole-body operation method for humanoid robots. Humanoid robots are biped machines possessing multiple degrees of freedom (DOF). Due to the complexity of their multi-DOF structure, and the difficulty in maintaining postural stability, whole-body operation of humanoid robots is fundamentally different from traditional fixed-base manipulators or stable-base mobile manipulators. By studying the shifts in locus of attention between human body joints during task execution, we developed a switching command-based operation method that allows the operator to select only the necessary points of the humanoid robot's body for manipulation. Whole-body motion satisfying the desired movements of the selected points is generated using an inverse-kinematics motion generation scheme. This switching operation method enables flexible whole-body operation of humanoid robots using simple input devices. The proposed whole-body operation method is implemented as a teleoperation system using two 3-DOF joysticks to operate a 30-DOF humanoid robot (HRP-1S) developed in the Humanoid Robotics Project (HRP) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan. Experiments teleoperating HRP-1S confirmed the effectiveness of our method.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2005