Automating Object Manipulation Tasks
for Humanoid Robots

James Kuffner, Jr.
Masayuki Inaba
Hirochika Inoue

Department of Mechano-Informatics
The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656 JAPAN


We present a manipulation path planner under development for providing high-level software control for humanoid robots. Using a graphical simulation environment, the software is designed to facilitate the automation of object grasping and manipulation tasks. Given a robot's internal model of the environment and a desired posture, we use a randomized path planner to search directly the configuration space of the robot for a collision-free manipulation path. The simulation environment can be used as a graphical user interface for directly controlling or interacting with a robot operating in the real world. We view this as a potential useful tool for the visualization and development of complex robotic systems, as well as an interactive, task-level programming interface.

Keywords: Humanoid Robot, Object Manipulation, Path Planning, Randomized Algorithm

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