Fast grasping of unknown objects using principal component analysis

Qujiang Lei*, Guangming Chen, Martijn Wisse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Fast grasping of unknown objects has crucial impact on the efficiency of robot manipulation especially subjected to unfamiliar environments. In order to accelerate grasping speed of unknown objects, principal component analysis is utilized to direct the grasping process. In particular, a single-view partial point cloud is constructed and grasp candidates are allocated along the principal axis. Force balance optimization is employed to analyze possible graspable areas. The obtained graspable area with the minimal resultant force is the best zone for the final grasping execution. It is shown that an unknown object can be more quickly grasped provided that the component analysis principle axis is determined using single-view partial point cloud. To cope with the grasp uncertainty, robot motion is assisted to obtain a new viewpoint. Virtual exploration and experimental tests are carried out to verify this fast gasping algorithm. Both simulation and experimental tests demonstrated excellent performances based on the results of grasping a series of unknown objects. To minimize the grasping uncertainty, the merits of the robot hardware with two 3D cameras can be utilized to suffice the partial point cloud. As a result of utilizing the robot hardware, the grasping reliance is highly enhanced. Therefore, this research demonstrates practical significance for increasing grasping speed and thus increasing robot efficiency under unpredictable environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095126
Number of pages21
JournalAIP Advances
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Numerical linear algebra
  • Robotics
  • Geometry
  • Computer science and technology
  • Correlation


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