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RSS15 WS on Towards a Unifying Framework for Whole-body and Manipulation Control

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  • Francesco Nori Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.  
  • Maximo A. Roa DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. 
  • Daniele Pucci Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnolgia. .
  • Edoardo Farnioli Advanced Robotics Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnolgia.
  • Marco Gabbicini Department of Mechanical, Nuclear and Production Engineering, University of Pisa. 
  • Antonio Bicchi Istituto Italiano di Tecnolgia and Research Center "E. Piaggio'', University of Pisa.


Manipulation and whole-body motion control are two of the most active research areas in the robotic community. Interestingly enough, there are structural similari- ties between the mathematical models of a robotic hand manipulating an object and a humanoid robot in contact with the environment. For instance, both systems are redun- dant, underactuated, and constrained by the interaction with the environment. Despite these similarities, manipulation and whole-body control have developed along different directions by two hardly connected communities. The relevant differences arise in the modelling of the contacts (e.g. soft-finger contacts vs. rigid contacts), in the adopted stability criteria (e.g. force closure vs. zero moment point conditions), and in the sim- plified models used for control design (e.g. quasi-static manipulation vs. linear inverted pendulum model).

The goal of the present workshop is to invite experts in manipulation and whole-body control to discuss similarities and differences in their respective research areas. Speakers will be invited to discuss the possibility of developing a unique framework that allows both manipulation and whole-body motion control.


  • Contacts planning and control
  • Whole-body and manipulation control
  • Compliant whole-body and manipulation control
  • Underactuated dynamics
  • Control and optimization for contact planning and control

Related IEEE technical committees: 

  1. TC on "Humanoid Robotics"
  2. TC on "Whole-Body Control"
  3. TC on "Robotic Hands, Grasping and Manipulation"
  4. TC on "Mobile Manipulation"
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