Robot contact language for manipulation planning

E. Najafi, A. Shah, G.A.D. Lopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The task of robotic manipulation planning combines high-level decision-making with low-level controllers that interact with the environment. Generating interfaces between these two paradigms is an active field of research in robotics. In this paper, we propose a contact-based language for robotic manipulation and planning, based on the contact between a collection of objects, robots and surfaces. This planner considers making and breaking contact as the bridge between high-level planning and low-level controllers. Following this paradigm, a robot contact language is developed. Given the involved components, a contact graph is constructed with respect to a set of predefined rules and the available geometrical information. Once the graph is generated, object manipulation planning is formulated as a graph search problem. Paths on this contact graph divide a complex manipulation task into sub-tasks which is followed by low-level path planning and controller assignment for each sub-task. By executing these controllers sequentially and in a hybrid fashion, one can achieve the overall manipulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1181
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • graph search
  • IEEE transactions
  • Mechatronics
  • object manipulation
  • Path planning
  • Planning
  • robot contact language
  • Robotic manipulation planning
  • Robots
  • symbolic planner
  • Task analysis
  • robotic manipulation planning
  • Graph search


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