A robot learning to collaborate with a user to assemble an IKEA table

This video shows the result of a learning by imitation approach that allows two users to demonstrate an assembly skill requiring different levels of compliance. Each furniture item to assemble will have specific characteristic that needs that are transferred to the robot. Re-programming the robot for each new item would not be possible. Here, the robot can learn this skill by demonstration. One user is grasping the robot and moving it by hand to demonstrate how it should collaborate with another user (kinesthetic teaching). A force sensor mounted at the wrist of the robot and a marker-based vision tracking system is used to record the position and orientation of the table legs that need to be mounted at four different point on the table top. After demonstration, the robot learns that it should first be compliant to let the user re-orient the table top in a comfortable pose to screw the corresponding table leg. Once the user starts to screw the leg, the robot becomes stiff to facilitate the task. This behavior is not pre-programmed, but is instead learn by the robot by extracting the regularities of the task from multiple demonstrations.

Credits: Leonel Rozo, Sylvain Calinon

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