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Proceedings Paper

Synergy in the design of mobile manipulation
Author(s): Robert O. Ambrose; Robert T. Savely
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Paper Abstract

As our robots develop greater range, autonomy, and sensor payloads, the desire to more fully interact with the environment has led researchers to the obvious integration of manipulators on their machines. This paper explores the integration of locomotion and manipulation in diverse forms, defining and then testing seven general design rules. The kinematics study reports on system level choices for integrating limbs on robot bodies, with a critique using metrics that include workspace, strength, occlusion and view factors for perception systems and the relative proportions of the robot to its work site. The design axioms were tested with three cases of radically different mobile robots, spanning the spectrum from gantries, to wheeled vehicles, to free climbers in space. In all cases, the robot design is considered as an anatomical study, comparing relative proportions of the limbs and the robot's body. For the wheeled vehicles in particular, sub categories were considered to identify the impact of multiple arms, and the interplay of manipulation and perception requirements. The study is completed with a look at actual robot prototypes built by the authors in all archetypes, and sub types. The design axioms were tested and found to be both valid and useful as governing principles in each case.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4573, Mobile Robots XVI, (18 February 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.457444
Show Author Affiliations
Robert O. Ambrose, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Robert T. Savely, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4573:
Mobile Robots XVI
Douglas W. Gage; Howie M. Choset, Editor(s)

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