Robotic Manipulation and Mobility Lab

Robotic Manipulation and Mobility Lab

In the broadest sense, robotics is the science of effecting physical change on the world. Robots have already had great impact on our society, often by being able to effect change repeatedly, tirelessly and precisely. In order to make the next leap and find new ways to assist people, robots need to become more versatile and learn to handle variability, interacting with the world more intelligently.

Our work focuses on versatile manipulation and mobility in robotics, aiming for robotic applications pervasive in everyday life. We look to develop new mechanisms that leverage both mechanical and computational intelligence, hoping to achieve simplicity in design without compromising versatility. We investigate novel autonomous capabilities to simplify many aspects of mobile manipulation, especially in tight, cluttered, or occluded settings. Such domains are difficult to parse and understand using sensor data; explicitly reasoning about the inherent uncertainty could prove key to successful task execution. We also focus on new Human-in-the-Loop paradigms for robotics, which can help non-roboticists operate co-robots in the workplace or the home.
Our research areas include:
  • Manipulation and grasping: underactuated hands, passively adaptive and compliant mechanisms; grasp analysis and quality metrics, grasp planning; eigengrasps, postural synergies and low-dimensional hand posture subspaces; GraspIt!: a simulator for robotic grasping.
  • Interactive or Human-in-the-Loop robotics: shared autonomy for mobile manipulation; assistive robotics.
  • Dynamic simulators and virtual environments: rigid and soft body dynamics; contact models, joint and contact constraints, LCP formulations; collision detection engines.
  • Perception and modeling: object modeling and recognition; acquisition and rendering of large 3D models (e.g. buildings); using cameras and other range sensors for navigation and manipulation tasks.

We are interested in many application domains, including:

  • Versatile automation in manufacturing and logistics
  • Assistive and rehabilitation robotics in healthcare
  • Mobile manipulation in unstructured environments

The most recent developments in our work can be found categorized in the Projects section, along with highlights and videos. All videos are available on our Youtube channel. You can also look in the complete list of Publications (uncategorized, in chronological order). If you are a student or researcher interested in joining our lab, please read about currently open positions and opportunities.

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Last modified: Nov. 14, 2017