Abstract: We define "robotic contact juggling" to be the purposeful control of the motion of a three-dimensional smooth object as it rolls freely on a motion-controlled robot manipulator, or "hand." While specific examples of robotic contact juggling have been studied before, in this paper we provide the first general formulation and solution method for the case of an arbitrary smooth object in single-point rolling contact on an arbitrary smooth hand. Our formulation splits the problem into four subproblems: (1) deriving the second-order rolling kinematics; (2) deriving the three-dimensional rolling dynamics; (3) planning rolling motions that satisfy the rolling dynamics; and (4) feedback stabilization of planned rolling trajectories. The theoretical results are demonstrated in simulation and experiment using feedback from a high-speed vision system.
Authors: J. Zachary Woodruff, Kevin M. Lynch (Northwestern University)