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Creators/Authors contains: "Bajracharya, Sujay"

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  1. We address the problem of goal-directed cloth manipulation, a chal- lenging task due to the deformability of cloth. Our insight is that optical flow, a technique normally used for motion estimation in video, can also provide an effective representation for corresponding cloth poses across observation and goal images. We introduce FabricFlowNet (FFN), a cloth manipulation policy that leverages flow as both an input and as an action representation to improve performance. FabricFlowNet also elegantly switches between dual-arm and single- arm actions based on the desired goal. We show that FabricFlowNet significantly outperforms state-of-the-art model-free and model-based cloth manipulation policies. We also present real-world experiments on a bimanual system, demonstrating effective sim-to-real transfer. Finally, we show that our method generalizes when trained on a single square cloth to other cloth shapes, such as T-shirts and rectangular cloths. Video and other supplementary materials are available at:
  2. The goal of offline reinforcement learning is to learn a policy from a fixed dataset, without further interactions with the environment. This setting will be an increasingly more important paradigm for real-world applications of reinforcement learning such as robotics, in which data collection is slow and potentially dangerous. Existing off-policy algorithms have limited performance on static datasets due to extrapolation errors from out-of-distribution actions. This leads to the challenge of constraining the policy to select actions within the support of the dataset during training. We propose to simply learn the Policy in the Latent Action Space (PLAS) such that this requirement is naturally satisfied. We evaluate our method on continuous control benchmarks in simulation and a deformable object manipulation task with a physical robot. We demonstrate that our method provides competitive performance consistently across various continuous control tasks and different types of datasets, outperforming existing offline reinforcement learning methods with explicit constraints.