Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 December 2020
The manipulation of articulated objects is of primary importance in Robotics and can be considered as one of the most complex manipulation tasks. Traditionally, this problem has been tackled by developing ad hoc approaches, which lack flexibility and portability. In this paper, we present a framework based on answer set programming (ASP) for the automated manipulation of articulated objects in a robot control architecture. In particular, ASP is employed for representing the configuration of the articulated object for checking the consistency of such representation in the knowledge base and for generating the sequence of manipulation actions. The framework is exemplified and validated on the Baxter dual-arm manipulator in the first, simple scenario. Then, we extend such scenario to improve the overall setup accuracy and to introduce a few constraints in robot actions execution to enforce their feasibility. The extended scenario entails a high number of possible actions that can be fruitfully combined together. Therefore, we exploit macro actions from automated planning in order to provide more effective plans. We validate the overall framework in the extended scenario, thereby confirming the applicability of ASP also in more realistic Robotics settings and showing the usefulness of macro actions for the robot-based manipulation of articulated objects.