Project Ideas

All projects require some amount of literature survey and the writing of a report. Listed below are just a few ideas. There are many other ideas that would be suitable. Just check with me before you invest a lot of time.

Hands-on projects involving expensive hardware

  • Download GraspIt! and interface with the Barrett arm/hand
  • Haptic interaction in a virtual environment powered by daVinciCode
  • Use daVinciCode to design a grasping strategy and test it with the Barrett arm/hand

Hands-on projects not involving expensive hardware

  • Use mobile robot, an Acroname Garcia, for a pushing task.  Simulate and compare results.
  • Analyze, design, build, and demonstrate a boomerang (this is a lot easier than it sounds)

Project without an experimental component

  • Implement a new feature (collision response) in daVinciCode and test various implementations (e.g., Newton’s and Poisson’s hypothesis).  Use this in the computational study of a manipulation task.
  • RRT uniformly covers the reachable set of statespace for a class of dynamic systems. Explore the use of RRT for planning dynamic and quasistatic manipulation tasks for a simple planar hand manipulating a single rigid body.
  • Implement Egan’s method for dealing with vertex/vertex contact.  Study the simulation behavior for one or more manipulation tasks with this feature turned on and turned off.


GraspIt! is available at

daVinciCode is available at