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Safe control of mobile robots for productive industrial operations

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Safe control of mobile robots for productive industrial operations
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Title: Safe COntrol of mobile Robots for Productive Industrial OperatioNs (SCORPION)

Authors/ Researchers: Giovanni Buizza Avanzini, Andrea Marica Zanchettin, Paolo Rocco

Laboratory: MEchatronics and Robotics Laboratory for INnovation (MERLIN)

University: Politecnico di Milano - Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB)

Abstract: The main goal of the SCORPION project is to develop a planning, control and perception framework that allows efficient execution of productive operations with a mobile manipulator, while preserving a prescribed level of safety with respect to unplanned obstacles, including human beings. Human-robot interaction is in fact a cornerstone of the project.

Reference is made to an industrial setting, but the principles are general enough to be applied in other (e.g. domestic) environments.

The system has several distinctive features:

  • full exploitation of the redundancy of the mobile manipulator to determine the robot configuration during a certain task;
  • perception of the environment through additional LED distance sensors mounted onboard the robot;
  • interaction both with humans (perceived trough a Microsoft Kinect mounted on-board) and the environment (perceived thanks to an eye-in-hand camera);
  • continuous assessment of the danger induced by the moving robot itself, through the recently introduced concept of the Danger Field;
  • online re-planning of the optimal robot trajectory (e.g. in case of the appearance of obstacles, or of a change in the desired task), which exploits the redundancy of the mobile manipulator with respect to the task.

The system is designed on, and tailored to, a youBot system, while being scalable to other sizes of mobile manipulators.

The capabilities of the system are shown in the accompanying videos.

Video: 

Papers/ Publications: Preliminary results have been published in: G. Buizza Avanzini, A.M. Zanchettin, P. Rocco - "Reactive Constrained Model Predictive Control for Redundant Mobile Manipulators", International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems, IAS 2014, Padua/Venice (Italy), July 2014, 15th-18th.

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