We are currently developing the motion planner for the Silvermate
mobile manipulation system (see Figure) under development at the Center for
Intelligent Robotics, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
The current prototype consists of a seven degree-of-freedom arm mounted
on a nonholonomic wheeled platform, together with a three-finger hand.
The Silvermate is intended to function in human environments, assisting
the elderly in various tasks while avoiding collisions with static
and moving objects in a dynamic and uncertain environment. Autonomous
mobile manipulation systems like the Silvermate require the integration
of both planning and control at several levels, particularly if they are
to work in real-time, relying on noisy sensors in environments with inherent
We are currently developing a motion planner that extends the
elastic roadmap framework developed by Oliver Brock: new algorithms
are being developed to, among others, generate coordinated motions
for the arm and nonholonomic base, and the simultaneous
handling of dynamic posture and compliance constraints during task
execution. The simulation shows the Silvermate maneuvering
through an environment cluttered with both static and dynamically
moving obstacles, all the while balancing a tray on its hand.
The milestones are upated in real-time at a rate of 10Hz on a
Pentium XX MHz computer, while the potential field-based
control law is updated at a rate of over 100Hz. A prototype with dual arms and a holonomic
base is currently being developed, with plans to eventually
execute closed chain, cooperating manuevers in compact,
dynamically changing cluttered environments.