Papers accepted at ICRA 2022 Conference

Two SLMC papers accepted at ICRA 2022

Two SLMC papers have been accepted at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2022) to be held in Philadelphia, USA.


  • Joao Moura, Theodorous Stouraitis and Sethu Vijayakumar, Non-prehensile Planar Manipulation via Trajectory Optimization with Complementarity Constraints,  IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2022),  [pdf] [video

Contact adaption is an essential capability when manipulating objects. Two key contact modes of non-prehensile manipulation are sticking and sliding. This paper presents a Trajectory Optimization (TO) method formulated as a Mathematical Program with Complementarity Constraints (MPCC), which is able to switch between these two modes. We show that this formulation can be applicable to both planning and Model Predictive Control (MPC) for planar manipulation tasks. We numerically compare: (i) our planner against a mixed integer alternative, showing that the MPCC planer converges faster, scales better with respect to time horizon, and can handle environments with obstacles; (ii) our controller against a state-of-the-art mixed integer approach, showing that the MPCC controller achieves better tracking and more consistent computation times. Additionally, we experimentally validate both our planner and controller with the KUKA LWR robot on a range of planar manipulation tasks.


  • Daniel F. N. Gordon, Christopher McGreavy, Andreas Christou and Sethu Vijayakumar, Human-in-the-loop Optimisation of Exoskeleton Assistance via Online Simulation of Metabolic Cost, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2022)  [pdf] [DOI

Many assistive robotic devices have been developed to augment or assist human locomotion. Despite advancements in design and control algorithms, this task remains challenging. Human walking strategies are unique and complex, and assistance strategies based on the dynamics of unassisted locomotion typically offer only modest reductions to the metabolic cost of walking. Recently, human-in-the-loop (HIL) methodologies have been used to identify subject-specific assistive strategies, which offer significant improvements to energy savings. However, current implementations suffer from long measurement times, necessitating the use of low-dimensional control parameterizations, and possibly requiring multiday collection protocols to avoid subject fatigue. We present a HIL methodology, which optimizes the assistive torques provided by a powered hip exoskeleton. Using musculoskeletal modeling, we are able to evaluate simulated metabolic rate online. We applied our methodology to identify assistive torque profiles for seven subjects walking on a treadmill, and found greater reductions to metabolic cost when compared to generic or off-the-shelf controllers. In a secondary investigation, we directly compare simulated and measured metabolic rate for three subjects experiencing a range of assistance levels. The time investment required to identify assistance strategies via our protocol is significantly lower when compared to existing protocols relying on calorimetry. In the future, frameworks such as these could be used to enable shorter HIL protocols or exploit more complex control parameterizations for greater energy savings.


Further Information

ICRA 2022