“Robot Dynamic Manipulation” is a new book edited by professors Bruno Siciliano and Fabio Ruggiero published by Springer in the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics.
Bruno Siciliano and Fabio Ruggiero present in this book the results and accomplishments in RoDyMan, a European Research Council’s project on robotic dynamic manipulation. This project brought a strong team of robotics researchers with a wide range of complementary skills and competencies to work together on the challenges of nonprehensile dynamic manipulation and deformable object manipulation. The Pizza Maker, which was selected as the robot demonstrator, constitutes a compelling robotic benchmark in this project and marks a vivid signature of the project’s host city, Naples.
“Through RoDyMan, we got the opportunity to merge all the acquired competencies in a blended theoretical and technological challenge, advancing the state of the art in nonprehensile dynamic manipulation, also considering deformable objects. The RoDyMan project contributed to paving the way towards enhancing autonomy and operational capabilities of service robots”.
Unforeseen applications were found in the industrial scenario to glue the sole on the shoe upper. Also, the connection between nonprehensile manipulation and walking gaits of a legged robot is currently carried on in follow-up projects (WELDON, PRINBOT) after the successful experience of the RoDyMan project. Last but not the least, several of the developed control techniques can be applied within the robotic surgery field (MUSHA, PROSCAN, BARTOLO, PACMAN projects), and it is foreseeable to adopt similar methodologies for manipulation of soft tissues, muscles, organs, and the skin.
Fabio Ruggiero comments on the discoveries made with RoDyMan: "For my part, I found out some very interesting things during RoDyMan. Apart from realising that the problem is vast and requires further attention and study (as done in the HARMONY project where non-prehensile manipulation techniques are used for the safe transport of laboratory material in hospitals), we have noticed a strong similarity between two seemingly very different fields. That is, non-prehensile manipulation, at least from the point of view of mathematical modelling, is comparable to walking. This has already been investigated in the recently completed WELDON project (www.weldon.unina.it), and also in the PRINBOT project, where we are applying some of these techniques to improve the control of quadrupeds. There is an article recently accepted for the journal Annual Reviews in Control where we explain in detail the connection between non-prehensile manipulation and lower limb locomotion".