Algorithms and Systems for Manipulating Multiple Objects

Zherong Pan, Andy Zeng, Yunzhu Li, Jingjin Yu, Kris Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Robot manipulation of multiple objects is an important topic for applications including warehouse automation, service robots performing cleaning, and large-scale object sorting. Although problems can range in complexity from a few objects to large disordered piles, autonomy remains a significant technical challenge due to the high-dimensional joint configuration space of the robot and all objects, the complex dynamics of object interaction, and the ambiguity and occlusion caused by clutter. This article surveys a broad range of classical and state-of-the-art research in multiobject manipulation and categorizes them along the dimensions of tasks, perception, predictive models, and decision-making algorithms. It also covers emerging trends and open problems faced in the ongoing effort to realize robust multiobject manipulation systems in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-20
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • Manipulators
  • manufacturing automation
  • robot motion
  • robot vision systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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