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Using minimax approaches to plan optimal task commutation configurations for combined mobile platform-manipulator systems

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3 Author(s)
Pin, F.G. ; Center for Eng. Syst. Adv. Res., Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., TN, USA ; Culioli, J.-C. ; Reister, D.B.

An important characteristic of mobile manipulators is their particular kinematic redundancy created by the addition of the degrees of freedom of the platform and those of the manipulator. This kinematic redundancy is very desirable since it allows mobile manipulators to operate under many modes of motion and to perform a wide variety of tasks. On the other hand, it also significantly complicates the problem of planning a series of sequential tasks, in particular for the critical times at which the system needs to “switch” from one task to the other (task commutation), with changes in mode of motion, task requirement, and task constraints. This paper focuses on the problem of planning the positions and configurations in which the system needs to be at task commutation in order to assure that it can properly initiate the next task to be performed. The concept of and need for “commutation configurations” in sequences of mobile manipulator tasks is introduced, and an optimization approach is proposed for their calculation during the task sequence planning phase. A variety of optimization criteria were previously investigated to optimize the task commutation configurations of the system when task requirements involve obstacle avoidance, reach, maneuverability, and optimization of strength. In this paper, the authors show that a “minimax” approach is particularly adapted for most of these requirements. The authors develop the corresponding criteria and discuss solution algorithms to solve the “minimax” optimization problems. An implementation of the algorithms for the authors' HERMIES-III mobile manipulator is then described and sample results are presented and discussed

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Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )