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Teaching Service Robots Complex Tasks: Programming By Demonstration For Workshop And Household Environments

By Markus Ehrenmann, Oliver Rogalla, Raoul Zöllner and Rüdiger Dillmann


Programming of service robots is an expensive and difficult task especially when manipulator arms are involved. This is one of the drawbacks for every day use of these systems. Programming by Demonstration is a means to let users program robots simply by demonstrating a task like putting a table or composing an object to a system that observes, interprets and then maps the performed user action to a given manipulator. At our institute, observation of a task is realised using active vision systems, a data glove and magnetic field sensors. After the demonstration, the system interprets and stores the recorded actions segmenting them into meaningful parts like grasps of objects or sticking objects to others. Due to sensor errors and the complexity of the problems, the system puts queries concerning grasp types or object positions. A robot should then be able to perform the same actions in a likewise environment. So far, execution has shown good results in simulation. An appropriate service robot is currently being set up at our institute in order to prove the feasibility of our approach. It is equipped with a stereo camera head and a seven DOF manipulator arm with a three finger gripper

Topics: Service robots, Learning, Sensor Fusion, Programming by Demonstration
Year: 2001
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