Two-level RRT planning for robotic push manipulation

Claudio Zito*, Marek Kopicki, Jeremy L. Wyatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an algorithm for planning sequences of pushes, by which a robotic arm equipped with a single rigid finger can move a manipulated object (or manipulandum) towards a desired goal pose. Pushing is perhaps the most basic kind of manipulation, however it presents difficult challenges for planning, because of the complex relationship between manipulative pushing actions and resulting manipulandum motions. The motion planning literature has well developed paradigms for solving e.g. The piano-mover's problem, where the search occurs directly in the configuration space of the manipulandum object being moved. In contrast, in pushing manipulation, a plan must be built in the action space of the robot, which is only indirectly linked to the motion space of the manipulandum through a complex interaction for which inverse models may not be known. In this paper, we present a two stage approach to planning pushing operations. A global RRT path planner is used to explore the space of possible manipulandum configurations, while a local push planner makes use of predictive models of pushing interactions, to plan sequences of pushes to move the manipulandum from one RRT node to the next. The effectiveness of the algorithm is demonstrated in simulation experiments in which a robot must move a rigid body through complex 3D transformations by applying only a sequence of simple single finger pushes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, IROS 2012 - Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal
Duration: 7 Oct 201212 Oct 2012


Conference25th IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, IROS 2012
CityVilamoura, Algarve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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