Robotics Laboratory


Our current research focuses on grasping of deformable objects. The problem is very different from grasping rigid ones for which two types of analysis have been developed. Form closure on a rigid object eliminates all of its degrees of freedom, while force closure keeps the object in equilibrium with the ability to resist any arbitrary external wrench. A deformable object, however, has infinite degrees of freedom, which makes form closure impossible. On the other hand, the grasp wrench space changes as the object deforms, which makes it impossible to conduct any conventional force closure analysis. Robot grasping of deformable objects is an under-researched area primarily due to the stringent requirement of equilibrium before and after deformation, and the high cost of physics-based deformable modeling.