Dartmouth logo Dartmouth College Computer Science
Technical Report series
CS home
TR home
TR search TR listserv
By author: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
By number: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986

Flexible Object Manipulation
Matthew P. Bell
Dartmouth TR2010-663

Abstract: Flexible objects are a challenge to manipulate. Their motions are hard to predict, and the high number of degrees of freedom makes sensing, control, and planning difficult. Additionally, they have more complex friction and contact issues than rigid bodies, and they may stretch and compress. In this thesis, I explore two major types of flexible materials: cloth and string.

For rigid bodies, one of the most basic problems in manipulation is the development of immobilizing grasps. The same problem exists for flexible objects. I have shown that a simple polygonal piece of cloth can be fully immobilized by grasping all convex vertices and no more than one third of the concave vertices. I also explored simple manipulation methods that make use of gravity to reduce the number of fingers necessary for grasping. I have built a system for folding a T-shirt using a 4 DOF arm and a fixed-length iron bar which simulates two fingers.

The main goal with string manipulation has been to tie knots without the use of any sensing. I have developed single-piece fixtures capable of tying knots in fishing line, solder, and wire, along with a more complex track-based system for autonomously tying a knot in steel wire. I have also developed a series of different fixtures that use compressed air to tie knots in string. Additionally, I have designed four-piece fixtures, which demonstrate a way to fully enclose a knot during the insertion process, while guaranteeing that extraction will always succeed.

Note: Ph.D. Dissertation. Advisor: Devin Balkcom.


PDF PDF (2216KB)

Bibliographic citation for this report: [plain text] [BIB] [BibTeX] [Refer]

Or copy and paste:
   Matthew P. Bell, "Flexible Object Manipulation." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2010-663, February 2010.


Notify me about new tech reports.

Search the technical reports.

To receive paper copy of a report, by mail, send your address and the TR number to reports AT cs.dartmouth.edu


Copyright notice: The documents contained in this server are included by the contributing authors as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Technical reports collection maintained by David Kotz.