Reasoning About Grasping

S. A. Stansfield

The promise of robots for the future is that of intelligent, autonomous machines functioning in a variety of tasks and situations. If this promise is to be met, then it is vital that robots be capable of grasping and manipulating a wide range of objects in the execution of highly variable tasks. A current model of human grasping divides the grasp into two stages, a precontact stage and a postcontact stage. In this paper, we present a rule-based reasoning system and an object representation paradigm for a robotic system which utilizes this model to reason about grasping during the precontact stage. Sensed object features and their spatial relations are used to invoke a set of hand preshapes and reach parameters for the robot arm/hand. The system has been implemented in PROLOG and results are presented to illustrate how the system functions.

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