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Control of cooperating mobile manipulators

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2 Author(s)
Sugar, T.G. ; Dept. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ, USA ; Kumar, V.

We describe a framework and control algorithms for coordinating multiple mobile robots with manipulators focusing on tasks that require grasping, manipulation and transporting large and possibly flexible objects without special purpose fixtures. Because each robot has an independent controller and is autonomous, the coordination and synergy are realized through sensing and communication. The robots can cooperatively transport objects and march in a tightly controlled formation, while also having the capability to navigate autonomously. We describe the key aspects of the overall hierarchy and the basic algorithms, with specific applications to our experimental testbed consisting of three robots. We describe results from many experiments that demonstrate the ability of the system to carry flexible boards and large boxes as well as the system's robustness to alignment and odometry errors

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )