Abstract

In this paper we introduce the Generalized Contact Control Framework (GCCF) implemented on a compliant robotic manipulator. We demonstrate that the combined joint compliance and GCCF-based compliance control enable the completion of complex contact tasks in uncertain environments, where complex refers to the need to meet different contact force requirements involving multiple steps and output axes. Operating in uncertain environments means limited knowledge of the location or material properties of contact objects. The demonstrated tasks include opening a pill bottle and rigidly connecting to a purely mechanical tool changer. The GCCF simplifies the definition and modification of contact control parameters and allows for on-the-fly definition and completion of new tasks. Unlike hybrid force/impedance controllers, we do not need to define large damping and stiffness matrices, and we decouple the joint level control gains from the compliance control. The result is a robotic manipulator that can dynamically switch between unconstrained motion and contact tasks and provides a lot of versatility to perform a wide variety of tasks.

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