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An object is manipulated in a nonprehensile way when it is not caged between the fingertips or the hand's palm. Moreover, the so-called "force closure" constraint does not hold during the manipulation task. This means that the motion can also be performed thanks to unilateral constraints: the part can thus roll, slide and break the contact with the robot manipulating it. Examples of everyday nonprehensile manipulation tasks are pushing objects, folding clothes, carrying a glass on a tray, cooking in a pan, and so on. Nonprehensile manipulation can also be referred to as dynamic when the dynamics of both the object and the robot are essential to accomplishing the desired task. A standard approach within the robotics community is to split a complex nonprehensile manipulation task into several subtasks that are easier to deal with individually. Therefore, it is possible to define the so-called "manipulation primitives" like rolling (holonomic and nonholonomic), throwing, bouncing, catching, sliding, etc. The primary goal regarding Fabio Ruggiero's research is to design a common practical/theoretical framework where each motion primitive can be equipped with a proper motion planner and controller.

Survey about nonprehensile manipulation written by Fabio Ruggiero:

Results of the RoDyMan project:

Proposed solutions (holonomic rolling):

Proposed solutions (nonholonomic rolling):

Proposed solutions (batting):

Proposed solutions (throwing):

Proposed solutions (sliding and friction-induced manipulation):

Proposed solutions (pushing):

Proposed solutions (dynamic grasp and transportation):

Proposed solutions (stretching):