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Feedback Shape Control




The purpose of this project is to develop sensor-based methods for deforming soft objects into desired shapes with robot manipulators.


  • Soft object manipulation

  • Visual shape servoing

  • Morphology models

  • Latent shape representations


Dr Celia Saghour

Kyle Huo

Dr "Big Tom" Qi

Dr Jeffery Zhou

Luiza Labazanova

Dr Jihong Zhu

Dr Zoë Ma


  • W. Ma, J. Zhu, D. Navarro-Alarcon. Shape Control of Elastic Objects Based on Implicit Sensorimotor Models and Data-Driven Geometric Features. 16th Int. Conf. on Intelligent Autonomous System (IAS-16), pp. 1–8, 20211 [link]

  • P. Zhou, P. Zheng, J. Qi, C. Li, C. Yang, D. Navarro-Alarcon, and J. Pan. Bimanual Deformable Bag Manipulation Using a Structure-of-Interest Based Latent Dynamics Model. (preprint) [link]

  • S. Huo, A. Duan, L. Han, L. Hu, H. Wang and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Efficient Robot Skill Learning with Imitation from a Single Video for Contact-Rich Fabric Manipulation. (preprint) [pdf]

  • S. Huo, F. Wang, L. Hu, P. Zhou, J. Zhu, H. Wang and D. Navarro-Alarcon. A Dual-Arm Collaborative Framework for Dexterous Manipulation in Unstructured Environments with Contrastive Planning. (preprint) [pdf]

  • J. Qi, D. Li, Y. Gao, P. Zhou and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Model Predictive Manipulation of Compliant Objects with Multi-Objective Optimizer and Adversarial Network for Occlusion Compensation. (preprint) [pdf]

  • P. Zhou, P. Zheng, J. Qi, C. Li, H.-Y. Lee, A. Duan, L. Lu, Z. Li, L. Hu, D. Navarro-Alarcon. Reactive Human-Robot Collaborative Manipulation of Deformable Linear Objects Using a New Topological Latent Control Model, Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (RCIM) (accepted), 2024 [pdf]

  • P. Zhou, J. Qi, A. Duan, S. Huo, Z. Wu and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Imitating Tool-based Garment Folding from a Single Visual Observation Using Hand-Object Graph Dynamics. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics (T-II) (accepted), 2024 [pdf]

  • J. Qi, G. Ran, B. Wang, J. Liu, W. Ma, P. Zhou and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Adaptive Shape Servoing of Elastic Rods using Parameterized Regression Features and Auto-Tuning Motion Controls, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 1428-1435, 2024. [pdf]

  • L. Labazanova, S. Peng, L. Qiu, H.-Y. Lee, T. Nanayakkara, and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Self-Reconfigurable Soft-Rigid Mobile Agent with Variable Stiffness and Adaptive Morphology. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 1643-1650, 2023 [pdf]

  • W. Ma, B. Zhang, L. Han, S. Huo, H. Wang and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Action Planning for Packing Long Linear Elastic Objects into Compact Boxes with Bimanual Robotic Manipulation. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (T-MECH), vo. 28, no. 3, pp. 1718 - 1729, 2022. [pdf]

  • S. Huo, A. Duan, C. Li, P. Zhou, W. Ma, H. Wang and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Keypoint-Based Planar Bimanual Shaping of Deformable Linear Objects Under Environmental Constraints With Hierarchical Action Framework, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 5222-5229, 2022. [pdf]

  • J. Zhu, A. Cherubini, C. Dune, D. Navarro-Alarcon, F. Alambeigi, D. Berenson, F. Ficuciello, K. Harada, X. Li, J. Pan and W. Yuan. Challenges and Outlook in Robotic Manipulation of Deformable Objects, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine (RA-M), vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 67-77, 2022. [pdf]

  • J. Qi, G. Ma, J. Zhu, P. Zhou, Y. Lyu, H. Zhang, and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Contour Moments Based Manipulation of Composite Rigid-Deformable Objects with Finite Time Model Estimation and Shape/Position Control, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (T-MECH), vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 2985-2996, 2022. [pdf]

  • J. Qi, G. Ma, P. Zhou, H. Zhang, Y. Lyu, and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Towards Latent Space Based Manipulation of Elastic Rods using Autoencoder Models and Robust Centerline Extractions, Advanced Robotics (ADV ROBOT), vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 101-115, 2022. [pdf]

  • J. Zhu, D. Navarro-Alarcon, R. Passama and A. Cherubini. Vision-based Manipulation of Deformable and Rigid Objects Using Subspace Projections of 2D Contours, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), vol. 142, pp. 103798, 2021. [pdf]

  • P. Zhou, J. Zhu. S. Huo and D. Navarro-Alarcon. LaSeSOM: A Latent and Semantic Representation Framework for Soft Object Manipulation, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 5381-5388, 2021. [pdf]

  • D. Navarro-Alarcon, O. Zahra, C. Trejo, E. Olguin-Diaz and V. Parra-Vega. Computing Pressure-Deformation Maps for Braided Continuum Robots, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, vol. 6, pp. 1–4, 2019. [pdf]

  • D. Navarro-Alarcon and Y.-H. Liu. Fourier-Based Shape Servoing: A New Feedback Method to Actively Deform Soft Objects into Desired 2-D Image Contours, IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO), vol. 34, no. 1, 272–1279, 2018. [pdf]

  • D. Navarro-Alarcon, H.M. Yip, Z. Wang, Y.-H. Liu, F. Zhong, T. Zhang and P. Li. Automatic 3D Manipulation of Soft Objects by Robotic Arms with Adaptive Deformation Model. IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO), vol. 32, no. 2, 429–441, 2016. [pdf]

  • D. Navarro-Alarcon, Y.-H. Liu, J.G. Romero, and P. Li. On the Visual Deformation Servoing of Compliant Objects: Uncalibrated Control Methods and Experiments. International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), vol. 33, no. 11, pp. 1462–1480, 2014. [pdf]

  • D. Navarro-Alarcon, Y.-H. Liu, J.G. Romero, and P. Li. Model-free Visually Servoed Deformation Control of Elastic Objects by Robot Manipulators. IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO), vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 1457–1468, 2013. [pdf]

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