Our first approach for getting into the car
involved grasping the car’s frame and then stepping into the car with the right leg.
This approach wasn’t robust and while the robot was able to reach the seat’s height,
we were unable to get it to enter the car. Since we lacked autonomous perception and
grasping capabilities to perform the task in this manner, we decided to think outside
the box, wrap the arms around the car’s frame, lift the robot’s legs and swing into the car.
We ensured that the robot laid flat on the seat while getting the arms inside the car
and then performed a sit-up motion that ends with the robot facing the steering wheel.
Due to friction issues between ATLAS and the car we added some arm and leg motions that
greatly improve the repeatability of the motion sequence.
We added an optional motion to press the gas pedal at the end of the sequence in order
to secure additional points for crossing the first gate with the car. While getting into the car the robot
randomly presses the reverse button… causing unexpected results.