Robotic manipulation of everyday objects and execution of household chores are among the most challenging skills for future service robots. Most of current research in robot grasping is limited to pick-and-place tasks, without paying attention to the whole range of different tasks needed in home environments, such as opening doors, interacting with furniture, electrical appliances, etc. The few robots exhibiting such abilities do it in an ad-hoc fashion with very precise models of the environment, and typically planning a trajectory for the end-effector based on such models. They are carefully programmed for the specific task and objects used in the experiments resulting in a very brittle execution. However, nowadays, complex dexterous hands are available as well as precise sensor devices.
The overall goal is to develop and implement the architecture and methods for a robot to be able to perform a variety of tasks involving compliant physical interaction in everyday domestic environments by means of a multifinger hand and using vision, force and tactile sensing. The system should be designed in such a way that tasks are executed robustly without precise models, and new tasks can be easily dealt with. Ideas for neuroscience findings will serve as inspiration.