/Manipulation Lab

Manipulation Lab

Portrait of Manipulation Lab
Lab Head: Matthew T. Mason
Mailing Address

Manipulation Lab Site

The Manipulation Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University investigates fundamental modes of manipulation under uncertainty. Our goal is to produce robots that can perform a variety of tasks in the physical world, ranging from industrial assembly to everyday chores. Examples include prepositioning parts for camcorder assembly to sorting papers on a desktop.

Our key contribution has been to elucidate and harness natural sources of information. Often, when asked to name sources of information researchers think of simple sensors such as cameras, light detectors, and strain gauges. They forget that action is as much a source of information as it is a source of uncertainty. Dropping a book on a desk is often the best way to know that the book is on the table. More complicated mechanical information appears in dynamic settings. Pushing on a coffee cup with a sensating finger provides a combination of mechanical and sensory information that allows the robot to determine the cup’s shape and pose.

Many techniques such as these were first developed in the Manipulation Laboratory in the context of hands and arms interacting with objects in the world. They are now commonplace in other domains, such as mobile robotics.

Software automation has become a natural part of human life. In the future this automation will extend to physical devices. Today we can place orders for goods over the internet, but humans still pack and ship these orders. In the future, we will be able to go grocery shopping without human intervention. Today, we can call up cameras to view scenery in Hawaii or New York. In the future we will be able to sample the plants and rocks we see at such distances. The Manipulation Laboratory is contributing with fundamental research into the nature of action and sensing and their natural connections.

Displaying 86 Publications
Sensor Selection and Stage & Result Classifications for Automated Miniature Screwdriving
Xianyi Cheng, Zhenzhong Jia, Ankit Bhatia, Reuben M. Aronson and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October, 2018
Sensorless Pose Determination using Randomized Action Sequences
Pragna Mannam, Alex Volkov, Robert Paolini, Gregory Chirikjian and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IROS Workshop on Manipulation Intelligence, October, 2018
A Survey of Automated Threaded Fastening
Zhenzhong Jia, Ankit Bhatia, Reuben Aronson, David Bourne and Matthew T. Mason

Journal Article, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, June, 2018
Fast Planning for 3D Any-Pose-Reorienting using Pivoting
Yifan Hou, Zhenzhong Jia and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2018, May, 2018
Data-Driven Statistical Models of Robotic Manipulation
Robert Paolini

PhD Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-18-25, May, 2018
Harnessing Task Mechanics for Robotic Pushing and Grasping
Jiaji Zhou

PhD Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-18-16, May, 2018
Pushing revisited: Differential flatness, trajectory planning and stabilization
Jiaji Zhou and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, ISRR 2017 : The 18th International Symposium on Robotics Research, December, 2017
A Probabilistic Planning Framework for Planar Grasping Under Uncertainty
Jiaji Zhou, Robert Paolini, Aaron M. Johnson, J. Andrew (Drew) Bagnell and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017), September, 2017
Robust Planar Dynamic Pivoting by Regulating Inertial and Grip Forces
Yifan Hou

Master's Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-17-10, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 2017
Robust Planar Dynamic Pivoting by Regulating Inertial and Grip Forces
Yifan Hou, Zhenzhong Jia, Aaron M. Johnson and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, THE 12 TH INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON THE ALGORITHMIC FOUNDATIONS OF ROBOTICS, December, 2016
Data-driven Classification of Screwdriving Operations
Reuben Aronson, Ankit Bhatia, Zhenzhong Jia, Mathieu Guillame-Bert, David Bourne, Artur W. Dubrawski and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, October, 2016
Data-Driven Statistical Modeling of a Cube Regrasp
Robert Paolini and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October, 2016
A Convex Polynomial Force-Motion Model for Planar Sliding: Identification and Application
Jiaji Zhou, Robert Paolini, J. Andrew (Drew) Bagnell and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2016, May, 2016
A Novel Nonlinear Compliant Link on Simple Grippers
Zhiwei Zhang, Alberto Rodriguez and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, 2015 IEEE/RSJ Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2015), September, 2015
Extrinsic Dexterity: In-Hand Manipulation with External Forces
Nikhil Chavan-Dafle, Alberto Rodriguez, Robert Paolini, Bowei Tang, Siddhartha Srinivasa, Michael Erdmann, Matthew T. Mason, Ivan Lundberg, Harald Staab and Thomas Fuhlbrigge

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May, 2014
A Data-Driven Statistical Framework for Post-Grasp Manipulation
Robert Paolini, Alberto Rodriguez, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Matthew T. Mason

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 600-615, April, 2014
A Simple and Compliant Force Sensing Palm for the MLab Simple Hand
Garth Zeglin, Alberto Rodriguez and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2013), May, 2013
Effector Form Design for 1DOF Planar Actuation
Alberto Rodriguez and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2013), May, 2013
Harnessing Human Manipulation
Matthew T. Mason, Nancy Pollard, Alberto Rodriguez and Ryan Kerwin

Conference Paper, NSF/ARL Workshop on Cloud Robotics : Challenges and Opportunities, February, 2013
Path-Connectivity of the Free Space
Alberto Rodriguez and Matthew T. Mason

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, IEEE Transactions on Robotics (TRO), Vol. 28, No. 5, pp. 1177-1180, October, 2012
A Data-Driven Statistical Framework for Post-Grasp Manipulation
Robert Paolini, Alberto Rodriguez, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER 2012), June, 2012
From Caging to Grasping
Alberto Rodriguez, Matthew T. Mason and Steve Ferry

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), Vol. 31, No. 7, pp. 886-900, June, 2012
Autonomous Manipulation with a General-Purpose Simple Hand
Matthew T. Mason, Alberto Rodriguez, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Andres S. Vazquez

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 688-703, April, 2012
Grasp Invariance
Alberto Rodriguez and Matthew T. Mason

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 237-249, February, 2012
Toward a deeper understanding of motion alternatives via an equivalence relation on local paths
Ross Alan Knepper, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Matthew T. Mason

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 168-187, February, 2012
Abort and Retry in Grasping
Alberto Rodriguez, Matthew T. Mason, Siddhartha Srinivasa, Matthew Bernstein and Alex Zirbel

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2011), September, 2011
From Caging to Grasping
Alberto Rodriguez, Matthew T. Mason and Steve Ferry

Conference Paper, Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS 2011), June, 2011
An Equivalence Relation for Local Path Sets
Ross Alan Knepper, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, The Ninth International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, December, 2010
Grasp Invariance
Alberto Rodriguez and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR 2010), December, 2010
Manipulation Capabilities with Simple Hands
Alberto Rodriguez, Matthew T. Mason and Siddhartha Srinivasa

Conference Paper, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER 2010), December, 2010
Generality and Simple Hands
Matthew T. Mason, Siddhartha Srinivasa, Andres S. Vazquez and Alberto Rodriguez

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-10-40, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, November, 2010
Minimalistic Dynamic Climbing
Amir Degani

PhD Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-10-38, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, November, 2010
Failure Detection in Assembly: Force Signature Analysis
Alberto Rodriguez, David Bourne, Matthew T. Mason, Gregory F. Rossano and JianJun Wang

Conference Paper, IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2010), August, 2010
DSAC – Dynamic, Single Actuated Climber. Local Stability and Bifurcations
Amir Degani, Howie Choset and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, Proc. of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May, 2010
Minimalistic, Dynamic, Tube Climbing Robot – Video Submission
Amir Degani, Siyuan Feng, Howie Choset and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2010
Generality and Simple Hands
Matthew T. Mason, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Andres S. Vazquez

Conference Paper, International Symposium of Robotics Research, July, 2009
A Minimalist Dynamic Climbing Robot: Modeling, Analysis and Experiments. Thesis Proposal.
Amir Degani

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-09-28, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, June, 2009
Minimum Wheel-Rotation Paths for Differential-Drive Robots
Hamidreza Chitsaz, Steven M. LaValle, Devin J. Balkcom and Matthew T. Mason

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, The International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 66-80, January, 2009
Two finger caging: squeezing and stretching
Alberto Rodriguez and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR 2008), December, 2008
Empirical Sampling of Path Sets for Local Area Motion Planning
Ross Alan Knepper and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, July, 2008
The Robotic Busboy: Steps Towards Developing a Mobile Robotic Home Assistant
Siddhartha Srinivasa, David Ferguson, J Michael Vandeweghe, Rosen Diankov, Dmitry Berenson, Casey Helfrich and K=Hauke Strasdat

Conference Paper, International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems, July, 2008
BiSpace Planning: Concurrent Multi-Space Exploration
Rosen Diankov, Nathan Ratliff, David Ferguson, Siddhartha Srinivasa and James Kuffner

Conference Paper, Robotics: Science and Systems, June, 2008
Decentralized Estimation and Control of Graph Connectivity in Mobile Sensor Networks
Peng Yang, Randy A. Freeman, Geoffrey Gordon, Kevin Lynch, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Rahul Sukthankar

Conference Paper, American Control Conference, June, 2008
Path and Trajectory Diversity: Theory and Algorithms
Michael S. Branicky, Ross Alan Knepper and James Kuffner

Conference Paper, International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2008
A Dynamic Single Actuator Vertical Climbing Robot
Amir Degani, Amir Shapiro, Howie Choset and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2007. IROS 2007. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, pp. 2901-2906, November, 2007
Control Strategies and Design Guidelines for Planar Latch-Less Metamorphic Robots Based on Analysis of Dynamics
Ashish Deshpande, Siddhartha Srinivasa and Padmanabhan Pillai

Conference Paper, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, November, 2007
Modeling and Control Techniques for a Class of Mobile Robot Error Recovery Problems
Ravi Balasubramanian

PhD Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-06-39, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, September, 2006
Physics-Based Motion Retiming
James McCann, Nancy Pollard and Siddhartha Srinivasa

Conference Paper, Eurographics/ ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computer Animation, September, 2006
Meet point planning for multirobot coordination
Siddhartha Srinivasa and David Ferguson

Conference Paper, IEEE International Symposium on Robotics and Automation, August, 2006
Control Synthesis for Dynamic Contact Manipulation
Siddhartha Srinivasa

PhD Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-05-33, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, September, 2005
Using projected dynamics to plan dynamic contact manipulation
Siddhartha Srinivasa, Michael Erdmann and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 3618 - 3623, August, 2005
Control synthesis for dynamic contact manipulation
Siddhartha Srinivasa, Michael Erdmann and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 2523 - 2528, April, 2005
Kinematic reduction and planning using symmetry for a variable inertia mechanical system
Ravi Balasubramanian and Alfred Rizzi

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vol. 4, pp. 3829 - 3834, October, 2004
Legless Locomotion: Models and Experimental Demonstration
Ravi Balasubramanian, Alfred Rizzi and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 2, pp. 1803 - 1808, April, 2004
Legless Locomotion for Legged Robots
Ravi Balasubramanian, Alfred Rizzi and Matthew T. Mason

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-04-05, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January, 2004
Legless Locomotion for Legged Robots
Ravi Balasubramanian, Alfred Rizzi and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Vol. 1, pp. 880 - 885, October, 2003
Bilateral time-scaling for control of task freedoms of a constrained nonholonomic system
Siddhartha Srinivasa, Michael Erdmann and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '03), Vol. 3, pp. 3391 - 3396, May, 2003
Energy-Optimal Trajectories for Overactuated Robots
Ravi Balasubramanian and Tucker Balch

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-02-17, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, July, 2002
A Sensorless Insertion Strategy for Rigid Planar Parts
Devin Balkcom, Jeffrey C. Trinkle and Eric J. Gottlieb

Conference Paper, ICRA, May, 2002
Computing Wrench Cones for Planar Contact Tasks
Devin Balkcom, Jeffrey C. Trinkle and Eric J. Gottlieb

Conference Paper, ICRA, May, 2002
Experiments with nonholonomic manipulation
Siddhartha Srinivasa, Christopher R. Baker, Elisha Sacks, Grigoriy Reshko, Matthew T. Mason and Michael Erdmann

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 2002 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '02), Vol. 2, pp. 2042 - 2047, May, 2002
Extremal Trajectories for Bounded Velocity Mobile Robots
Devin Balkcom and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, ICRA, May, 2002
Extremal trajectories for bounded velocity mobile robots
Devin J. Balkcom and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, January, 2002
Reconstructing Shape from Motion Using Tactile Sensors
Mark Moll and Michael Erdmann

Conference Paper, Proc. 2001 IEEE/RSJ Intl. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, November, 2001
Progress in Desktop Robotics
Devin Balkcom and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, The Eleventh Yale Workshop on Adaptive and Learning Systems, January, 2001
Extremal Trajectories for Bounded Velocity Differential Drive Robots
Devin Balkcom and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '00), Vol. 3, pp. 2479 - 2484, April, 2000
Time Optimal Trajectories for Bounded Velocity Differential Drive Robots
Devin Balkcom and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '00), Vol. 3, pp. 2499 - 2504, April, 2000
Uncertainty Reduction Using Dynamics
Mark Moll and Michael Erdmann

Conference Paper, Proceeding of the 2000 Conference on Robotics and Automation, April, 2000
Manipulation of Pose Distribitions
Mark Moll and Michael Erdmann

Conference Paper, Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, March, 2000
Manipulation of Pose Distributions
Mark Moll and Michael Erdmann

Tech. Report, CMU-CS-00-111, Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon University, March, 2000
A Mobile Manipulator
Matthew T. Mason, Dinesh Pai, Daniela Rus, L. R. Taylor and Michael Erdmann

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '99), Vol. 3, pp. 2322 - 2327, May, 1999
Experiments with Desktop Mobile Manipulators
Matthew T. Mason, Dinesh Pai, Daniela Rus, J. Howell, L. R. Taylor and Michael Erdmann

Conference Paper, Internatiional Symposium on Experimental Robotics, January, 1999
Parts Orienting with Partial Sensor Information
Srinivas Akella and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, 1998 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 1998
Parts Orienting with Shape Uncertainty
Srinivas Akella and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, 1998 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 1998
Mechanics, Planning, and Control for Tapping
Wesley Huang and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, January, 1998
Mechanics for Vibratory Manipulation
Wesley Huang and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '97), Vol. 3, pp. 2391 - 2396, April, 1997
A Nonprehensile Method for Reliable Parts Orienting
Nina Zumel

PhD Thesis, Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-97-13, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January, 1997
Locally controllable polygons by stable pushing
Kevin Lynch

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '97), January, 1997
Impulsive Manipulation
Wesley Huang, Eric Krotkov and Matthew T. Mason

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '95), January, 1995
Balancing of a Planar Bouncing Object
Nina Zumel and Michael Erdmann

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '94), Vol. 4, pp. 2949 - 2954, January, 1994
Balancing of a Planar Bouncing Object
Nina Zumel

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-93-26, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, November, 1993
Recent Results in Pushing
Matthew T. Mason, Srinivas Akella and Kevin Lynch

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the NSF Design and Manufacturing Systems Grantees Conference, January, 1993
Manipulation and active sensing by pushing using tactile feedback
Kevin Lynch, H. Maekawa and K. Tanie

Conference Paper, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 416 - 421, January, 1992
Learning reliable manipulation strategies without initial physical models
A.D. Christiansen, Matthew T. Mason and Tom Mitchell

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 2, pp. 1224 - 1230, May, 1990
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