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This paper addresses the problem of maneuvering an object by pushing it through an environment with obstacles. Instead of only pushing the object through open areas, we also allow it to use compliance, e.g., allowing it to slide along obstacle boundaries. Using compliance has a number of advantages: it extends the number of situations in which a manipulation plan can be found, it allows for simpler (i.e., less complicated) paths in many cases, and it often helps solving narrow-passage problems. Here, we present an approach based on rapidly-exploring random trees. Our approach yields paths through the open space, but also exploits the power of compliance.
Date of Publication: June 2007