Towards Autonomous Robotic Butlers: Lessons Learned with the PR2

TitleTowards Autonomous Robotic Butlers: Lessons Learned with the PR2
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBohren, Jonathan., Rusu, Radu Bogdan., Jones, Gil E.., Marder-Eppstein, Eitan., Pantofaru, Caroline., Wise, Melonee., Mosenlechner, Lorenz., Meeussen, Wim., and Holzer, Stefan
Conference NameICRA
Date Published05/2011
Conference LocationShanghai, China

As autonomous personal robots come of age, we
expect certain applications to be executed with a high degree
of repeatability and robustness. In order to explore these
applications and their challenges, we need tools and strategies
that allow us to develop them rapidly. Serving drinks (i.e.,
locating, fetching, and delivering), is one such application
with well-defined environments for operation, requirements for
human interfacing, and metrics for successful completion. In
this paper we present our experiences and results while building
an autonomous robotic assistant using the PR21 platform and
ROS2 . The system integrates several new components that are
built on top of the PR2’s current capabilities. Perception compo-
nents include dynamic obstacle identification, mechanisms for
identifying the refrigerator, types of drinks, and human faces.
Planning components include navigation, arm motion planning
with goal and path constraints, and grasping modules. One
of the main contributions of this paper is a new task-level
executive system, SMACH, based on hierarchical concurrent
state machines, which controls the overall behavior of the
system. We provide in-depth discussions on the solutions that
we found in accomplishing our goal, and the implementation
strategies that let us achieve them.

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