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This paper emphasizes on the capacity of a humanoid robot to perform tasks that are difficult for other types of robots. It deals with manipulation of bulky objects. Such tasks require complicated manipulations involving the whole-body and line coordination between legs, arms and torso motions. We introduce here a whole-body motion planner that allows a humanoid robot to autonomously plan a pivoting strategy that accounts for the various constraints: collision avoidance, legs-arms coordination and stability control. Based on a previous result by the authors  proving the small-time controllability of a pivoting system, the planner is proven to inherit from the probabilistic completeness of the sampling- based motion planning method it is built on. The geometric and kinematic capacity of the proposed planner is mainly demonstrated through simulations and experiments.
Date of Conference: 19-23 May 2008