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MEAM Seminar: “The Role of Manipulation Primitives in Building Dexterous Robotic Systems”

September 7, 2021 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

In this talk I will illustrate four different perspectives that we as a community have embraced to study robotic manipulation: 1) controlling a simplified model of the mechanics of interaction with an object; 2) using haptic feedback such as force or tactile to control the interaction with an environment; 3) planning sequences or trajectories of manipulation actions to achieve long-horizon goals; and 4) using visual cues to guide manipulation actions. These are complementary perspectives, and building general dexterous robotic manipulation systems requires integrating them. I will discuss the key role that manipulation primitives play at integrating these perspectives. In particular I will present recent work on tactile dexterity to embed tactile feedback into the mechanics models of frictional contact, and on planning with visual affordances to execute dexterous long-term behavior on novel objects. I will illustrate this work in the context of a dual-arm dexterous robotic system.

Alberto Rodriguez

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alberto is the Class of 1957 Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT, and leads the Manipulation and Mechanisms Lab at MIT (MCube) researching autonomous robotic dexterous manipulation. Alberto graduated in Mathematics (’05) and Telecommunication Engineering (’06) from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya and earned his PhD (’13) from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Alberto has received Best Paper Awards from conferences RSS’11, ICRA’13, RSS’18, IROS’18, RSS’19, and ICRA’21, as well as the 2020 IEEE Transactions on Robotics King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award. He has also been finalist for best paper awards at IROS’16, IROS’18, ICRA’20, RSS’20, and ICRA’21. He has led Team MIT-Princeton in the Amazon Robotics Challenge between 2015 and 2017, and has received Faculty Research Awards from Amazon in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and from Google in 2020. He is also the recipient of the 2020 IEEE Early Academic Career Award in Robotics and Automation.


September 7, 2021
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
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Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
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