Real-time constraint-based planning and control of robotic manipulators for safe human-robot collaboration

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review


A recent trend in industrial robotics is to have robotic manipulators working side-by-side with human operators. A challenging aspect of this coexistence is that the robot is required to reliably solve complex path-planning problems in a dynamically changing environment. To ensure the safety of the human operator while simultaneously achieving efficient task realization, this paper introduces a computationally efficient planning and control architecture that combines a Rapidly-exploring Random Tree (RRT) path planner with a trajectory-based Explicit Reference Governor (ERG) by means of a reference selector. The resulting scheme can steer the robot arm to the desired end-effector pose in the presence of actuator saturation, limited joint ranges, speed limits, a cluttered static obstacle environment, and moving human collaborators. The effectiveness of the proposed framework is experimentally validated on the Franka Emika Panda robot arm and fed with feedback information from state-of-the-art depth perception systems. Our method outperforms both the standalone RRT and ERG algorithms in cluttered static environments where it overcomes: i) the RRT’s inability to handle dynamic constraints which result in constraint violations and ii) the ERG’s undesirable property of getting trapped in local minima. Finally we employed the RRT+ERG in highly dynamic human–robot coexistence experiments without sacrificing the real-time requirements.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Vroegere onlinedatum21 dec 2023
StatusPublished - jun 2024

Bibliografische nota

Funding information:
This work was supported by the EUH2020 project SOPHIA [grant number 871237] and the Flemish Government, Belgium under the program Onderzoeksprogramma Artificiële Intelligentie (AI) Vlaanderen.


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