A lot of users have asked about the internals of the manipulation
technologies OpenRAVE is employing along with the OpenRAVE
architecture and its advantages. The good news is that I recently
wrote a PhD thesis on exactly these issues and it is now available
Anyway, the OpenRAVE architecture and most of its cool features that
differentiate it from other environments are in Chapter 8. Chapter 3-5
are specifically for manipulation planning. Chapter 6 is for automated
calibration using the theories from Chapters 3-5. For those of you
starting out in robotics, Chapter 2 discusses the necessary components
of a robot manipulation system. Chapter 1 should give a nice
introduction on the angle the thesis is examining the problem from and
There is a lot of great research on manipulation and thesis contains
many citations for those interested in pursuing the problem further.
Eventually my hope is that a lot of the thesis writing will be
converted into OpenRAVE documentation so it is more convenient.