Conference paper

The Hand-bot, a Robot Design for Simultaneous Climbing and Manipulation

We present a novel approach to mobile object manipulation for service in indoor environments. Current research in service robotics focus on single robots able to move, manipulate objects, and transport them to various locations. Our approach differs by taking a collective robotics perspective: different types of small robots perform different tasks and exploit complementarity by collaborating together. We propose a robot design to solve one of these tasks: climbing vertical structures and manipulating objects. Our robot embeds two manipulators that can grasp both objects or structures. To help climbing, it uses a rope to compensate for the gravity force. This allows it to free one of its manipulators to interact with an object while the other grasps a part of a structure for stabilization. Our robot can launch and retrieve the rope autonomously, allowing multiple ascents. We show the design and the implementation of our robot and demonstrate the successful autonomous retrieval of a book from a shelf.

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