Planning and Control of Robotic Juggling and Catching Tasks

A new class of control algorithms—the “mirror algorithms”— gives rise to experimentally observed juggling and catching behavior in a planar robotic mechanism. The simplest of these algorithms (on which all the others are founded) is provably correct with respect to a simplified model of the robot and its environment. This article briefly reviews the physical setup and underlying mathematical theory. It discusses two significant extensions of the fundamental algorithm to juggling two objects and catching. We provide data from successful empirical verifi cations of these control strategies and briefly speculate on the larger implications for the field of robotics.

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