Sequential Composition of Dynamically Dexterous Robot Behaviors

We report on our efforts to develop a sequential robot controller composition technique in the context of dexterous “batting” maneuvers. A robot with a flat paddle is required to strike repeatedly at a thrown ball until the ball is brought to rest on the paddle at a specified location. The robot’s reachable workspace is blocked by an obstacle that disconnects the free space formed when the ball and paddle remain in contact, forcing the machine to “let go” for a time to bring the ball to the desired state. The controller compositions we create guarantee that a ball introduced in the “safe workspace” remains there and is ultimately brought to the goal. We report on experimental results from an implementation of these formal composition methods, and present descriptive statistics characterizing the experiments.

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