Life Science Manipulation

A project of the Robotics 2019 class of the School of Information Science and Technology (SIST) of ShanghaiTech University. Course Instructor: Prof. Sören Schwertfeger.

Jiahui Zhu and Yizheng Zhang

In the field of robotics, service robots are increasingly becoming an industry hot-spot. Especially for mobile manipulation, many researchers have studied its applications and some teams are focused on the manipulator’s pose estimation of grasping objects, and the other teams are working on the simultaneous localization and mapping, path planning and automatic obstacle avoidance of mobile vehicles. Very few of them explore the integrated system of mobile manipulation and only transport simple, regular objects. Since in life science experiments, many repetitive, simple tasks can be replaced by autonomous robots. This work is aiming to apply a mobile manipulation Fetch robot to execute the dexterous manipulation of centrifuge tubes in life science laboratories. Usually, those tubes have a screw-lid so that operators need to unscrew the lid and add samples inside. In this work, we performed the experiments as follow: (a) to get an accurate centrifuge tube localization; (b) to grasp the tube from the top and place it on the base of Fetch; (c) to transport the tube from the base to the test table; (d) to unscrew the lid from the top of the centrifuge tube and drop it into a box.

Application Scenario of a Life Science Robot