Working on Managing Deformation: A Step Toward Higher Robot Autonomy

The ability to interact with deformable objects of any scale is a prerequisite for advanced robot autonomy. Depending on the size of the object, the development of these skills may involve all the degrees of freedom of one or more robotics systems, and even the mobility of an active platform. These skills are necessary in multiple fields, ranging from grasping and handling of everyday objects (food, clothing, etc.) in consumer robotics, surgical robotic procedures (manipulating tissues, guiding flexible needles, etc), picking up of agricultural products, or movement of large flexible objects (such as cables, ropes, and tents).

However, taking into account deformation introduces new challenges, in particular:

  • The complication of sensing deformation
  • The curse of infinite dimensionality of the deformation configuration
  • The complexity of high nonlinearity in modeling the deformation

New paradigms are needed to address these challenges. Therefore, the aim of this workshop is to discuss new research prospects considering the object’s deformation in various robotic applications.