The project goal is to foster the use of advanced (mobile) manipulation techniques in small and mid-size enterprises, in production and home service settings. In the last couple of years, research has made significant advances in mobile manipulation, however little has been applied to industrial and service applications so far.
This gap between research results and application is due to a lack of ready-to-use software components to
build advanced robotic applications and to a lack of engineers educated to master advanced (mobile) manipulation.
The project will bridge the gap, by providing industry with a software toolbox of modular components implementing
basic robotic functionalities for mobile manipulation and an education framework with course modules
covering the theory and application of mobile manipulation. As a by-product of this effort, simple sensing
capabilities, comprehensive of hardware interfaces and software drivers, will be adapted to the mobile manipulator
chosen for this project, to let instructors and students also practice with sensor-based navigation and manipulation.
The toolbox and course material will be developed along three showcases: (a) handing over an object
between two (moving) mobile manipulators, (b) a cooperative assembly example and (c) a fetch and carry
task. The results will be the software toolbox (open sourced), the teaching material, including a worked-out curriculum for mobile manipulation, and two of the three showcases as demonstrators (i.e. software + tutorial how
to setup hardware and run the showcase in class).