Papers in IROS 2021

Non-Prehensile Manipulation of Cuboid Objects Using a CatenaryRobot (IROS + RAL)

Gustavo A. Cardona, Diego S. D’Antonio, Cristian-Ioan Vasile, and David Saldaña

Abstract: Manipulating objects with quadrotors has been widely studied in the literature, but the majority of those approaches assume quadrotors and loads are previously attached. This setup requires human intervention that is not always achievable or desirable in practice. Furthermore, most of the robot configurations consider rods, manipulators, magnets, and cables modeled as rigid links attached to predefined places on objects. In contrast, we are interested in manipulating objects that are not specifically designed to interact with quadrotors, e.g., no predefined connections, and that do not require humans to set up. In this paper, we control a catenary robot composed of a cable and two quadrotors attached to its ends. Our robot is tasked with moving cuboid objects (boxes) on a planar surface. We design a controller that allows the catenary robot to place the cable in a specific area on the box to perform dragging or rolling. We validate our control design in simulation and with real robots, where we show them rolling and dragging boxes to track desired trajectories.