Visual servo control on a humanoid robot

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This thesis deals with the control of a humanoid robot based on visual servoing. It seeks to confer a degree of autonomy to the robot in the achievement of tasks such as reaching a desired position, tracking or/and grasping an object. The autonomy of humanoid robots is considered as crucial for the success of the numerous services that this kind of robots can render with their ability to associate dexterity and mobility in structured, unstructured or even hazardous environments. To achieve this objective, a humanoid robot is fully modeled and the control of its locomotion, conditioned by postural balance and gait stability, is studied. The presented approach is formulated to account for all the joints of the biped robot. As a way to conform the reference commands from visual servoing to the discrete locomotion mode of the robot, this study exploits a reactive omnidirectional walking pattern generator and a visual task Jacobian redefined with respect to a floating base on the humanoid robot, instead of the stance foot. The redundancy problem stemming from the high number of degrees of freedom coupled with the omnidirectional mobility of the robot is handled within the task priority framework, allowing thus to achieve con- figuration dependent sub-objectives such as improving the reachability, the manipulability and avoiding joint limits. Beyond a kinematic formulation of visual servoing, this thesis explores a dynamic visual approach and proposes two new visual servoing laws. Lyapunov theory is used first to prove the stability and convergence of the visual closed loop, then to derive a robust adaptive controller for the combined robot-vision dynamics, yielding thus an ultimate uniform bounded solution. Finally, all proposed schemes are validated in simulation and experimentally on the humanoid robot NAO.

Includes bibliographical references