SCS Undergraduate Thesis Topics

Student Advisor(s) Thesis Topic
Somchaya Liembetcharat David Touretzky Manipulation of Objects Using an AIBO

The Sony AIBO robot is built like a dog, having four limbs, a head and a tail. Typically, all four limbs are used in locomotion, while the head is used to look at and grasp objects. The general approach to the AIBO's grasping an object requires positioning the object between the forelimbs, then grasping it with the head. However, present techniques involve specialized routines written for specific object shapes and domains (e.g., ball manipulation in RoboSoccer), where a fixed set of key-frames or fixed motion sequences are developed, which the AIBO performs without feedback, much like acting out a pre-defined script. This approach is difficult to generalize, and thus the AIBO is unable to adapt to new situations.

This research focuses on general methods that will allow an AIBO to manipulate classes of objects, such as boxes, spheres, and cylinders. The manipulation techniques will be as general as possible, so as to allow the AIBO to act on a variety of objects. In particular, visual feedback will be used to guide the AIBO as it performs the desired action. This allows the AIBO to adapt to changing circumstances and subtle differences in the objects being manipulated.

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