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  1. In this work, we investigate the problem of incrementally solving constrained non-linear optimization problems formulated as factor graphs. Prior incremental solvers were either restricted to the unconstrained case or required periodic batch relinearizations of the objective and constraints which are expensive and detract from the online nature of the algorithm. We present InCOpt, an Augmented Lagrangian-based incremental constrained optimizer that views matrix operations as message passing over the Bayes tree. We first show how the linear system, resulting from linearizing the constrained objective, can be represented as a Bayes tree. We then propose an algorithm that views forward and back substitutions, which naturally arise from solving the Lagrangian, as upward and downward passes on the tree. Using this formulation, In-COpt can exploit properties such as fluid/online relinearization leading to increased accuracy without a sacrifice in runtime. We evaluate our solver on different applications (navigation and manipulation) and provide an extensive evaluation against existing constrained and unconstrained solvers.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 23, 2023
  2. Knowledge of 3-D object shape is of great importance to robot manipulation tasks, but may not be readily available in unstructured environments. While vision is often occluded during robot-object interaction, high-resolution tactile sensors can give a dense local perspective of the object. However, tactile sensors have limited sensing area and the shape representation must faithfully approximate non-contact areas. In addition, a key challenge is efficiently incorporating these dense tactile measurements into a 3-D mapping framework. In this work, we propose an incremental shape mapping method using a GelSight tactile sensor and a depth camera. Local shape is recovered from tactile images via a learned model trained in simulation. Through efficient inference on a spatial factor graph informed by a Gaussian process, we build an implicit surface representation of the object. We demonstrate visuo-tactile mapping in both simulated and real-world experiments, to incrementally build 3-D reconstructions of household objects.