Stabilizing Feedback Controllers for Robotic Assembly Problems

Assembly problems require that a robot with a few actuated degrees of freedom manipulate an environment with a greater number of unactuated degrees of freedom. Since the dynamical coupling between degrees of freedom in this setting is a function of their relative configuration, the motion of such systems is subject to constraints that preclude smooth feedback stabilization. In other words, in contrast to purely geometric motion planning problems, assembly planning cannot be carried out within the limits of traditional control theory. This paper explores the extent to which assembly planning and control may be effected by recourse to some other methodical means of generating stabilizing feedback controllers.

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