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Humanoid robot learns to clean a whiteboard

A Japanese humanoid robot (Fujitsu HOAP-2) learns to clean a whiteboard by upper-body kinesthetic teaching during full-body balance control. The research is from an Italian-Japanese collaboration between the Italian Institute of Technology and Tokyo City University.

We present an integrated approach allowing a free-standing humanoid robot to acquire new motor skills by kinesthetic teaching. The proposed full-body control method controls simultaneously the upper and lower body of the robot with different control strategies. Imitation learning is used for training the upper body of the humanoid robot via kinesthetic teaching, while at the same time Reaction Null Space method is used for keeping the balance of the robot. During demonstration, a force/torque sensor is used to record the exerted forces, and during reproduction, we use a hybrid position/force controller to apply the learned trajectories in terms of positions and forces to the end effector. The proposed method is tested on a 25-DOF Fujitsu HOAP-2 humanoid robot with a surface cleaning task.

This research was presented at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in May 2011 in Shanghai, China.

Dr. Petar Kormushev (IIT)
Prof. Dragomir N. Nenchev (TCU)
Dr. Sylvain Calinon (IIT)
Prof. Darwin G. Caldwell (IIT)

IIT – Italian Institute of Technology, Advanced Robotics Dept.
TCU – Tokyo City University, Mechanical Systems Engineering Dept.

Photos (high-res):

Link to publication:
Kormushev, P., Nenchev, D.N., Calinon, S., and Caldwell, D.G., “Upper-body Kinesthetic Teaching of a Free-standing Humanoid Robot“, IEEE Intl. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), 2011. [pdf] [bibtex]