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  7. Promising results have been achieved recently in category-level manipulation that generalizes across object instances. Nevertheless, it often requires expensive real-world data collection and manual specification of semantic keypoints for each object category and task. Additionally, coarse keypoint predictions and ignoring intermediate action sequences hinder adoption in complex manipulation tasks beyond pick-and-place. This work proposes a novel, category-level manipulation framework that leverages an object-centric, category-level representation and model-free 6 DoF motion tracking. The canonical object representation is learned solely in simulation and then used to parse a category-level, task trajectory from a single demonstration video. The demonstration is reprojected to a target trajectory tailored to a novel object via the canonical representation. During execution, the manipulation horizon is decomposed into longrange, collision-free motion and last-inch manipulation. For the latter part, a category-level behavior cloning (CatBC) method leverages motion tracking to perform closed-loop control. CatBC follows the target trajectory, projected from the demonstration and anchored to a dynamically selected category-level coordinate frame. The frame is automatically selected along the manipulation horizon by a local attention mechanism. This framework allows to teach different manipulation strategies by solely providing a single demonstration, without complicated manual programming. Extensive experiments demonstrate its efficacy in a rangemore »of challenging industrial tasks in highprecision assembly, which involve learning complex, long-horizon policies. The process exhibits robustness against uncertainty due to dynamics as well as generalization across object instances and scene configurations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 29, 2023
  8. This work proposes a robotic pipeline for picking and constrained placement of objects without geometric shape priors. Compared to recent efforts developed for similar tasks, where every object was assumed to be novel, the proposed system recognizes previously manipulated objects and performs online model reconstruction and reuse. Over a lifelong manipulation process, the system keeps learning features of objects it has interacted with and updates their reconstructed models. Whenever an instance of a previously manipulated object reappears, the system aims to first recognize it and then register its previously reconstructed model given the current observation. This step greatly reduces object shape uncertainty allowing the system to even reason for parts of objects, which are currently not observable. This also results in better manipulation efficiency as it reduces the need for active perception of the target object during manipulation. To get a reusable reconstructed model, the proposed pipeline adopts: i) TSDF for object representation, and ii) a variant of the standard particle filter algorithm for pose estimation and tracking of the partial object model. Furthermore, an effective way to construct and maintain a dataset of manipulated objects is presented. A sequence of real-world manipulation experiments is performed. They show how futuremore »manipulation tasks become more effective and efficient by reusing reconstructed models of previously manipulated objects, which were generated during their prior manipulation, instead of treating objects as novel every time.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 25, 2023
  9. Task-relevant grasping is critical for industrial assembly, where downstream manipulation tasks constrain the set of valid grasps. Learning how to perform this task, however, is challenging, since task-relevant grasp labels are hard to define and annotate. There is also yet no consensus on proper representations for modeling or off-the-shelf tools for performing task-relevant grasps. This work proposes a framework to learn task-relevant grasping for industrial objects without the need of time-consuming real-world data collection or manual annotation. To achieve this, the entire framework is trained solely in simulation, including supervised training with synthetic label generation and self-supervised, hand-object interaction. In the context of this framework, this paper proposes a novel, object-centric canonical representation at the category level, which allows establishing dense correspondence across object instances and transferring task-relevant grasps to novel instances. Extensive experiments on task-relevant grasping of densely-cluttered industrial objects are conducted in both simulation and real-world setups, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed framework.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 25, 2023
  10. Tracking the 6D pose of objects in video sequences is important for robot manipulation. Most prior efforts, however, often assume that the target object's CAD model, at least at a category-level, is available for offline training or during online template matching. This work proposes BundleTrack, a general framework for 6D pose tracking of novel objects, which does not depend upon 3D models, either at the instance or category-level. It leverages the complementary attributes of recent advances in deep learning for segmentation and robust feature extraction, as well as memory-augmented pose graph optimization for spatiotemporal consistency. This enables long-term, low-drift tracking under various challenging scenarios, including significant occlusions and object motions. Comprehensive experiments given two public benchmarks demonstrate that the proposed approach significantly outperforms state-of-art, category-level 6D tracking or dynamic SLAM methods. When compared against state-of-art methods that rely on an object instance CAD model, comparable performance is achieved, despite the proposed method's reduced information requirements. An efficient implementation in CUDA provides a real-time performance of 10Hz for the entire framework. Code is available at: