Object search and retrieval in indoor environment using a Mobile Manipulator
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Robots are increasingly viewed as service agents in offices and homes. In many countries where the average population is aging, robots can be used for elderly care. This Thesis explores one such possibility using a mobile manipulator robot. Such robots have a mobile base to move from one place to another and an arm to pick and place objects. This Thesis considers a problem where the mobile manipulator needs to search for an object in an environment and bring it to some location. The optimal object search is formulated in terms of the popular traveling salesman problem (TSP) that computes the optimal sequence in which the Robot can visit all the possible locations where the object can possibly be. Prior information about the more likely locations is brought in by scaling the edge-weight of the TSP graph through the probabilities of the location. The Thesis can combine the output of TSP with navigation and manipulation planning built on top of Robot Operating Systems (ROS) to build the complete object search and retrieval pipeline. The results of the Thesis are validated both in simulation and actual hardware experiments.
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