Smart EEF Control

Controlling robot end effectors from your smartphone.

Re-positioning your robot's end effector after an experiment can be quite tedious. In the case of more industrial-style robots like the URs you might have a teach-pendant that lets you control the end effector directly. With research oriented robots, like the PR2, or the Fetch you will usually not have such a pendant. While both those robots offer control via a gamepad, I thought it might also be interesting to control these robots from your phone.

The Smart EEF Control ROS package provides such remote control functionality using giskardpy, and the Robot Web Tools. The package starts a velocity controller and provides a web interface that can be displayed on a smartphone. The web interface uses an on-screen joystick to control the end effector's linear motion and uses the phone's orientation to control rotation.

While this is certainly not the best way yet to control a robot, it is interesting to see how easily already present technology can be utilized to create a new mode of robotic interaction. The video below shows the controller in action, though only on a simulated robot.

If you are interested in trying out the package for yourself, check it out over at GitHub. ARoefer/smart_eef_control