Planning and Teaching Compliant Motion Strategies
This thesis presents a new high level robot programming system. The programming system can be used to construct strategies consisting of compliant motions, in which a moving robot slides along obstacles in its environment. The programming system is referred to as high level because the user is spared of many robot-level details, such as the specification of conditional tests, motion termination conditions, and compliance parameters. Instead, the user specifies task-level information, including a geometric model of the robot and its environment. The user may also have to specify some suggested motions. There are two main system components. The first component is an interactive teaching system which accepts motion commands from a user and attempts to build a compliant motion strategy using the specified motions as building blocks. The second component is an autonomous compliant motion planner, which is intended to spare the user from dealing with "simple" problems. The planner simplifies the representation of the environment by decomposing the configuration space of the robot into a finite state space, whose states are vertices, edges, faces, and combinations thereof. States are inked to each other by arcs, which represent reliable compliant motions. Using best first search, states are expanded until a strategy is found from the start state to a global state. This component represents one of the first implemented compliant motion planners. The programming system has been implemented on a Symbolics 3600 computer, and tested on several examples. One of the resulting compliant motion strategies was successfully executed on an IBM 7565 robot manipulator.