 NSFPAR ID:
 10293937
 Date Published:
 Journal Name:
 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
 Format(s):
 Medium: X
 Sponsoring Org:
 National Science Foundation
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For rearranging objects on tabletops with overhand grasps, temporarily relocating objects to some buffer space may be necessary. This raises the natural question of how many simultaneous storage spaces, or “running buffers,” are required so that certain classes of tabletop rearrangement problems are feasible. In this work, we examine the problem for both labeled and unlabeled settings. On the structural side, we observe that finding the minimum number of running buffers (MRB) can be carried out on a dependency graph abstracted from a problem instance and show that computing MRB is NPhard. We then prove that under both labeled and unlabeled settings, even for uniform cylindrical objects, the number of required running buffers may grow unbounded as the number of objects to be rearranged increases. We further show that the bound for the unlabeled case is tight. On the algorithmic side, we develop effective exact algorithms for finding MRB for both labeled and unlabeled tabletop rearrangement problems, scalable to over a hundred objects under very high object density. More importantly, our algorithms also compute a sequence witnessing the computed MRB that can be used for solving object rearrangement tasks. Employing these algorithms, empirical evaluations reveal that random labeled and unlabeled instances, which more closely mimic realworld setups generally have fairly small MRBs. Using real robot experiments, we demonstrate that the running buffer abstraction leads to stateoftheart solutions for the inplace rearrangement of many objects in a tight, bounded workspace.

It is imperative that robots can understand natural language commands issued by humans. Such commands typically contain verbs that signify what action should be performed on a given object and that are applicable to many objects. We propose a method for generalizing manipulation skills to novel objects using verbs. Our method learns a probabilistic classifier that determines whether a given object trajectory can be described by a specific verb. We show that this classifier accurately generalizes to novel object categories with an average accuracy of 76.69% across 13 object categories and 14 verbs. We then perform policy search over the object kinematics to find an object trajectory that maximizes classifier prediction for a given verb. Our method allows a robot to generate a trajectory for a novel object based on a verb, which can then be used as input to a motion planner. We show that our model can generate trajectories that are usable for executing five verb commands applied to novel instances of two different object categories on a real robot.more » « less

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