Dynamic manipulation with a one joint robot

Kevin M. Lynch*, Matthew T. Mason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


We are interested in using low degree-of-freedom robots to perform complex manipulation tasks by not grasping. By not grasping, the robot can use rolling, slipping, and free flight to control more degrees-of-freedom of the part. To demonstrate this we study the controllability properties of planar dynamic nonprehensile manipulation. We show that almost any planar object is small-time locally controllable by point contact, and the controlling robot requires only two degrees-of-freedom (a point translating in the plane). We then focus on a one joint manipulator (with a two-dimensional state space) and show that even this simplest of robots, by using slipping and rolling, can control an object to a full-dimensional subset of its six-dimensional state space. We have developed a one joint robot to perform a variety of dynamic tasks, including snatching an object from a table, rolling an object on the surface of the arm, and throwing and catching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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