• Robotic Sensing and Manipulation of Deformable Linear Objects with Learning-based methods
  • Zanella, Riccardo <1991>


  • ING-INF/04 Automatica


  • Nowadays robotic applications are widespread and most of the manipulation tasks are efficiently solved. However, Deformable-Objects (DOs) still represent a huge limitation for robots. The main difficulty in DOs manipulation is dealing with the shape and dynamics uncertainties, which prevents the use of model-based approaches (since they are excessively computationally complex) and makes sensory data difficult to interpret. This thesis reports the research activities aimed to address some applications in robotic manipulation and sensing of Deformable-Linear-Objects (DLOs), with particular focus to electric wires. In all the works, a significant effort was made in the study of an effective strategy for analyzing sensory signals with various machine learning algorithms. In the former part of the document, the main focus concerns the wire terminals, i.e. detection, grasping, and insertion. First, a pipeline that integrates vision and tactile sensing is developed, then further improvements are proposed for each module. A novel procedure is proposed to gather and label massive amounts of training images for object detection with minimal human intervention. Together with this strategy, we extend a generic object detector based on Convolutional-Neural-Networks for orientation prediction. The insertion task is also extended by developing a closed-loop control capable to guide the insertion of a longer and curved segment of wire through a hole, where the contact forces are estimated by means of a Recurrent-Neural-Network. In the latter part of the thesis, the interest shifts to the DLO shape. Robotic reshaping of a DLO is addressed by means of a sequence of pick-and-place primitives, while a decision making process driven by visual data learns the optimal grasping locations exploiting Deep Q-learning and finds the best releasing point. The success of the solution leverages on a reliable interpretation of the DLO shape. For this reason, further developments are made on the visual segmentation.


  • 2021-06-08
  • info:eu-repo/date/embargoEnd/2023-08-26


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Zanella, Riccardo (2021) Robotic Sensing and Manipulation of Deformable Linear Objects with Learning-based methods, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria biomedica, elettrica e dei sistemi , 33 Ciclo.