Model Predictive Robot-Environment Interaction Control for Mobile Manipulation Tasks

Maria Vittoria Minniti, Ruben Grandia, Kevin Fäh, Farbod Farshidian, Marco Hutter

Modern, torque-controlled service robots can regulate contact forces when interacting with their environment. Model Predictive Control (MPC) is a powerful method to solve the underlying control problem, allowing to plan for whole-body motions while including different constraints imposed by the robot dynamics or its environment. However, an accurate model of the robot-environment is needed to achieve a satisfying closed-loop performance. Currently, this necessity undermines the performance and generality of MPC in manipulation tasks. In this work, we combine an MPC-based whole-body controller with two adaptive schemes, derived from online system identification and adaptive control. As a result, we enable a general mobile manipulator to interact with unknown environments, without any need for re-tuning parameters or pre-modeling the interacting objects. In combination with the MPC controller, the two adaptive approaches are validated and benchmarked with a ball-balancing manipulator in door opening and object lifting tasks.

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