AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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A Real-Time Technique for Positioning a Wheelchair-Mounted Robotic Arm for Household Manipulation Tasks
Pooya Abolghasemi, Rouhollah Rahmatizadeh, Aman Behal, Ladislau Boloni

Last modified: 2016-03-29


Wheelchair mounted robotic arms can help people with disabilities perform their activities of daily living (ADL). The autonomy of such a system can range from full manual control (both wheelchair and robotic arm controlled by the human) to fully autonomous (with both the wheelchair and the robotic arm under autonomous control). Many ADLs require the robot to pick up an object from a cluttered environment - such as a glass of water from a table where several other objects exist. In this paper, we concentrate on the task of finding the optimal position of the base of the robotic arm (which is normally a rigid point on the wheelchair) such that the end effector can easily reach the target (regardless whether this is done through human or robot control). We introduce the ease-of-reach score ERS, a metric quantifying the preferences for the positioning of the base. As the brute force computation of ERS is computationally expensive, we propose an approach of estimating the ERS through a mixture of Gaussians. The parameters of the component Gaussians are learned offline and depend on the nature of the environment such as properties of the the obstacles. Simulation results show that the estimated ERS closely matches the actual value and the speed of estimation is fast enough for real-time operation.


Assistive Robotics, Mobile Robot Positioning, Autonomous Navigation, Wheelchair Mounted Robotic Arm

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