"Open Sesame!" - Adaptive Force/Velocity Control for Opening Unknown Doors

Yiannis Karayiannidis, Christian Smith, Francisco Viña, Petter Ögren and Danica Kragic

2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'12). Finalist for "Best Application Paper".


The problem of door opening is fundamental for robots operating in domestic environments. Since these environments are generally less structured than industrial environments, several types of uncertainties associated with the dynamics and kinematics of a door must be dealt with to achieve successful opening. This paper proposes a method that can open doors without prior knowledge of the door kinematics. The proposed method can be implemented on a velocity controlled manipulator with force sensing capabilities at the end effector. The method consists of a velocity controller which uses force measurements and estimates of the radial direction based on adaptive estimates of the position of the door hinge. The control action is decomposed into an estimated radial and tangential direction following the concept of hybrid force/motion control. A force controller acting within the velocity controller regulates the radial force to a desired small value while the velocity controller ensures that the end effector of the robot moves with a desired tangential velocity leading to task completion. This paper also provides a proof that the adaptive estimates of the radial direction converge to the actual radial vector. The performance of the control scheme is demonstrated in both simulation and on a real robot.


Adaptive door opening control