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Towards Tethered Tool Manipulation Planning with the Help of a Tool Balancer

Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Osaka 560-8531, Japan
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This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Sánchez, D., Wan, W., Harada, K. Arm Manipulation Planning of Tethered Tools with the Help of a Tool Balancer. In Proceedings of the IFToMM World Congress on Mechanism and Machine Science, Krakow, Poland, 15–18 July 2019; Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2019; pp. 2567–2576.
Robotics 2020, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9010011
Received: 29 January 2020 / Revised: 12 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 6 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Robotics and Mechatronics)
Handling and maneuvering tools across a robot workspace is a challenging task that often requires the implementation of constrained motion planning. In the case of wired or tethered tools, their maneuvering becomes considerably harder by the tool cable. If the cable presence is not considered, the robot motions may make the cable become entangled with the robot arms or elements of its workspace, causing accidents or unnecessary strain on the robot and the tool. Furthermore, the behavior of the tool cable during manipulation and its degree of entanglement around the robot are difficult to predict. The present paper introduces a constrained manipulation planner for dual-armed tethered tool manipulation involving tool re-grasping. Our solution employs a tool balancer to straighten the tool cable and facilitate the cable deformation problem. The planner predicts the cable states during manipulation and restricts the robot motions in order to avoid cable entanglements and collisions while performing tool re-posing tasks. Furthermore, the planner also applies orientational constraints to limit the cable bending, reducing the torque and stress suffered by the robot due to the cable tension. Simulations and real-world experiments validated the presented method.
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Keywords: motion planning; object grasping; wired tools motion planning; object grasping; wired tools
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Sanchez, D.; Wan, W.; Harada, K. Towards Tethered Tool Manipulation Planning with the Help of a Tool Balancer. Robotics 2020, 9, 11.

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