Human-Robot Collaboration For Heavy Object Manipulation Kinesthetic Teaching Of The Role Of Wheeled Mobile Manipulator

Human-robot collaboration (HRC) significantly extends robotic systems' applications when working in spaces like houses, hospitals, or laboratories. However, new challenges appear during a close collaboration between humans and robots and imitating the movement of humans by robots. Learning from demonstration (LfD), or kinesthetic teaching, is a popular approach to help teach a robot the human behavior by demonstrations without the need to explicitly reprogram the robot for different procedures. In this paper, we propose a method for object manipulation, including lifting, carrying, and lowering the object through a collaboration of a human with a wheeled mobile manipulator (WMM). The WMM is first trained with the help of a human demonstrator to collaborate with the user to execute the task. Then, the WMM will independently cooperate with the user by reproducing the learned skills to perform the same task. The redundancy of the WMM will also be employed to enhance its force exertion capability in the vertical direction to offset the object's weight. The advantages and effectiveness of the proposed method are investigated through experiments.