PhD Thesis

Topological measures to plan flexible objects bimanual robotic manipulation

Work default illustration


  • Started: 01/10/2020


Textile manipulation is intrinsically bimanual and its main challenge is how to predict the behaviour of completely shapeless objects when they are manipulated, in order to be able to plan an action such as folding or covering an object. The main idea behind this project will be to define new representations in terms of points or oriented lines that allow us to extract topological and shape information from each configuration of our grippers+cloth system. In the long term, we want to plan motions between different configurations exploiting optimization methods based on topological and geometric indexes.

To start, we will study the Gauss Linking Integral, as an index that measures the writhe between two open polygonal curves. This index has been recently used to synthesize motions for humanoid robots, grasping and manipulation through holes in the environment. We will revisit the computation of the index, its geometric interpretation and possible improvements, and in parallel we will explore the 2D extension of this index, starting by studying the writhe matrix between different significant curves on a 2D surface.

The work is under the scope of the following projects:

  • MdM: Unit of Excellence María de Maeztu (web)
  • CLOTHILDE: Cloth manipulation learning from demonstration (web)