A coverage to allow the usage of general-purpose manipulators in high-speed robotic air hockey

Credit score: Liu et al.

To carry out effectively on extremely dynamic duties, robots ought to be capable to transfer rapidly and be extremely reactive. As robots usually have bodily constraints and {hardware} limitations, laptop scientists must also develop planners and trajectory optimization methods that can allow them to carry out fast actions.

One instance of a extremely dynamic activity that robots might full is taking part in air hockey, a sport wherein gamers attempt to push a plastic disk into their opponent’s aim throughout a particularly designed desk. Whereas a number of roboticists have tried to coach robots to play air hockey previously, only some have tried to realize extremely dynamic habits utilizing standard, basic goal robotic manipulators.

Researchers at Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Huawei R&D and College School London (UCL) have just lately developed a trajectory optimization approach that would allow the usage of general-purpose robotic manipulators in high-speed robotic air hockey. This coverage, offered in a paper pre-published on arXiv, permits standard robotic arms to carry out quick actions and effectively hit disks throughout an air hockey desk.

“Our long-term goal is to design an clever robotic for advanced, dynamic, constrained duties,” Puze Liu, one of many researchers who carried out the research, instructed TechXplore. “On this paper, our fundamental analysis query is: “how can we push the efficiency of the present industrial robotic to the boundaries?” The robotic air hockey is a well-suited activity for this query, because it requires quick and exact motion in a extremely constrained atmosphere.”

A policy to enable the use of general-purpose manipulators in high-speed robot air hockey
Credit score: Liu et al.

The important thing problem when coaching robots to play air hockey is that robotic joint velocity limits don’t usually confer quick hitting actions to robotic manipulators. A potential resolution to that is to take advantage of the robotic redundancy to assign the workload of the slowest robotic joint to the quickest one.

“In easy phrases, one might see the manipulator as a human arm and our methodology optimizes the elbow place to carry out fast-hitting actions,” Liu defined. “In distinction with earlier approaches that use redundancy to extend the workspace of the robotic or allow compliance to surprising contacts, we exploit the redundancy to extend the end-effector pace.”

The trajectory optimization methodology developed by Liu and his colleagues is predicated on a easy constrained optimization downside that’s straightforward to unravel and thus could be effectively utilized to actual robots. Furthermore, the approach can carry out computations rapidly, which implies that it might assist to make robots extra reactive whereas they sort out dynamic duties, comparable to taking part in air hockey.

A policy to enable the use of general-purpose manipulators in high-speed robot air hockey
Credit score: Liu et al.

“We additionally discovered that we are able to determine the system parameters in a black-box style, utilizing Bayesian optimization,” Liu mentioned. “This methodology doesn’t require skilled information or a differentiable simulator.”

The researchers evaluated their trajectory optimization approach in air hockey simulations of two KUKA LBR IIWA, general-purpose robotic methods developed by KUKA Robotics. Their findings have been extremely promising, as their approach allowed the robotic methods to play effectively in opposition to one another on a medium-sized air hockey desk.

A policy to enable the use of general-purpose manipulators in high-speed robot air hockey
Credit score: Liu et al.

“We discovered that there’s nonetheless room for enchancment within the efficiency of present robotic manipulators,” Liu mentioned. “We expect that current robots can resolve advanced duties comparable to air hockey. Our plan for future work is to implement the total system on actual robots. Sooner or later, we’ll attempt to defeat our ‘robotics experience’ with the assistance of machine studying methods.”


The MIT humanoid robotic: A dynamic robotic that may carry out acrobatic behaviors


Extra data:
Puze Liu et al, Environment friendly and reactive planning for top pace robotic air hockey. arXiv:2107.06140 [cs.RO] arxiv.org/abs/2107.06140

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