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Choosing the right tools for motion planning

asked 2020-08-07 05:07:18 -0500

titouanlh gravatar image

Hi everyone,

I'm developping a pick and place application with an UR3 robot. I have a action server which send the Pose of the object to pick in my robot's base_link frame. Now I would like to make another node which does the following actions :

  • Place gripper's tcp on an "pre-pick" position. Gripper's z-axis must be aligned with my object's z-axis (which can be tilted) and I want my tcp to be x centimeters away from the object.
  • Perform the approach, close the gripper
  • Move gripper's tcp to "post-pick" position, which is the same as pre-pick for now
  • Move to a named position to place the object

I think it's a pretty common task, but I didn't find many information about the general workflow.

I already tried the "pick and place demo" from the MoveIt documentation ( which is really great and convenient but some features are missing (manual command of the gripper, grasp control, etc.).

So, I tried to use the movegroup interface but it doesn't look convenient for moving along an axis, for instance (or maybe I'm not using it the right way). Also, the paths from one pose to another doesn't always seems very "optimal".

While looking on the internet for solutions I've seen plenty of things I could use (descartes, cartesian path, STOMP, IKFast, ...) but I can't really figure out what plugins/methods I should use or not use in my application ...

I would be very gratefull if someone could give me some guidance about this !

Thank you.

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answered 2020-08-10 03:00:10 -0500

v4hn gravatar image

If you are interested in a more flexible replacement for the old "pick and place" pipeline, you can try the MoveIt Task Constructor:

There's also a tutorial for a pick/place application:

But obviously there is a ton of modules out there that provide support for these applications, with varying levels of expert knowledge required to get a system to run. Some other prominent systems are

Other users might want to comment to add to this list.

As a general rule, do not expect that anything will "just work". Looking at your listing of "plenty of things to use" you mix up many different concepts that can of course be involved, but none of them will give you a full p&p pipeline. So you have a learning curve to climb ahead. :-)

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Thank you very much !

titouanlh gravatar image titouanlh  ( 2020-08-12 01:41:54 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2020-08-07 05:07:18 -0500

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Last updated: Aug 10 '20