Disney Research


Precise task-space tracking with manipulator-type systems requires an accurate kinematic model. In contrast to traditional manipulators, sometimes it is difficult to obtain an accurate kinematic model of humanoid robots due to complex structure and link flexibility. Also, prolonged use of the robot will lead to some parts wearing out or being replaced with a slightly different alignment, thus throwing off the initial calibration. Therefore, there is a need to develop a control algorithm that can compensate for the modeling errors and quickly retune itself, if needed, taking into account the controller bandwidth limitations and high dimensionality of the system. In this paper, we develop an iterative learning control algorithm that can work with existing inverse kinematics solvers to re fine the joint-level control commands to enable precise tracking in the task space. We demonstrate the efficacy of the algorithm on a theme-park type humanoid doing a drawing task, serving drink in a glass, and serving a drink placed on a tray without spilling. The iterative learning control algorithm is able to reduce the tracking error by at least two orders of magnitude in less than 20 trials.

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