Autonomous Robots

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 131-149

First online:

An autonomous mobile manipulator for assembly tasks

  • Brad HamnerAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University Email author 
  • , Seth KoterbaAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University
  • , Jane ShiAffiliated withResearch and Development Center, Manufacturing Systems Research Lab., General Motors Company
  • , Reid SimmonsAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University
  • , Sanjiv SinghAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The fundamental difference between autonomous robotic assembly and traditional hard automation, currently utilized in large-scale manufacturing production, lies in the specific approaches used in locating, acquiring, manipulating, aligning, and assembling parts. An autonomous robotic assembly manipulator offers high flexibility and high capability to deal with the inherent system uncertainties, unknowns, and exceptions. This paper presents an autonomous mobile manipulator that effectively overcomes inherent system uncertainties and exceptions by utilizing control strategies that employ coordinated control, combine visual and force servoing, and incorporate sophisticated reactive task control. The mobile manipulation system has been demonstrated experimentally to achieve high reliability for a “peg-in-hole” type of insertion assembly task that is commonly encountered in automotive wiring harness assembly.


Mobile manipulation Coordinated control Constrained motion Task architecture