PYROBOCOP : Python-based Robotic Control & Optimization Package for Manipulation and Collision Avoidance

Arvind U. Raghunathan, Devesh K. Jha, Diego Romeres

PYROBOCOP is a lightweight Python-based package for control and optimization of robotic systems described by nonlinear Differential Algebraic Equations (DAEs). In particular, the package can handle systems with contacts that are described by complementarity constraints and provides a general framework for specifying obstacle avoidance constraints. The package performs direct transcription of the DAEs into a set of nonlinear equations by performing orthogonal collocation on finite elements. The resulting optimization problem belongs to the class of Mathematical Programs with Complementarity Constraints (MPCCs). MPCCs fail to satisfy commonly assumed constraint qualifications and require special handling of the complementarity constraints in order for NonLinear Program (NLP) solvers to solve them effectively. PYROBOCOP provides automatic reformulation of the complementarity constraints that enables NLP solvers to perform optimization of robotic systems. The package is interfaced with ADOLC for obtaining sparse derivatives by automatic differentiation and IPOPT for performing optimization. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in terms of speed and flexibility. We provide several numerical examples for several robotic systems with collision avoidance as well as contact constraints represented using complementarity constraints. We provide comparisons with other open source optimization packages like CasADi and Pyomo .

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