Centre for Robotics and
Intelligent Systems of the University of
Giving a robot a useful skill for household and
Manipulation by Personal Robots
overall aim is the development of robot skills required for the manipulation of
fabrics in an unstructured environment, e.g. home or laundry.
This project focuses on
sorting tasks, such as those conducted before placing cloth in a washing
The objective is the development of artificial
vision and manipulation algorithms enabling a small humanoid robot to
conduct fabric sorting tasks.
Method: The project starts with the
observation of humans performing a cloth sorting task. (Figure
1A and 1B, Publication 1).
The observations were analysed (figure 2A)
and formed the basis for a computational model of human visual search and
grasp (Fig 2B, Publication 1).
This model is now being implemented.
Setup for human observation. A. The
subject is placed in front of a pile of cloth to be sorted by colour or
size. B. An eye tracker is used to follow the gaze direction of the
Of special interest are following facts:
- The eyes saccade from grasping point to grasping point. There is no
evidence of overt scanning of the visual scene for the selection of the
next grasping point (figure 2A)
- Saccades targets reflect covert visual search and strategic planning
processes, constrained for instance by the availability of the right or
left hand for the grasping task and the motion of the hand after grasping.
A. Classification of eye and hand movements during a
sorting task. B. Computational model of visual search and grasp based on
Current work covers:
development of a vision algorithm for selecting the next grasping point.
A video of initial screenshots
shows the selection of grasping points which a human operator use to remove
pieces of cloth.
- The development of a gripper and its
control system for the humanoid robot.
page - personal
university page -
"Fabric Manipulation: An Eye Tracking Experiment" (PDF 607KB)
Peter Gibbons, Phil Culverhouse, and Guido Bugmann (2008)
Proceedings of Taros'08, Edinburgh, pp. 130-134.
(also presented at the BMVA
meeting on Vision and Robotics, 14 May 2008)
Guido Bugmann, 12 February 2009