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  1. Tan, Jie ; Toussaint, Marc ; Darvish, Kourosh (Ed.)
    Most successes in autonomous robotic assembly have been restricted to single target or category. We propose to investigate general part assembly, the task of creating novel target assemblies with unseen part shapes. As a fundamental step to a general part assembly system, we tackle the task of determining the precise poses of the parts in the target assembly, which we term “rearrangement planning". We present General Part Assembly Transformer (GPAT), a transformer-based model architecture that accurately predicts part poses by inferring how each part shape corresponds to the target shape. Our experiments on both 3D CAD models and real-world scans demonstrate GPAT’s generalization abilities to novel and diverse target and part shapes. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 6, 2024
  2. We explore Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) precues (predictive cues) for procedural tasks within and between workspaces and for visualizing multiple upcoming steps in advance. We designed precues based on several factors: cue type, color transparency, and multi-level (number of precues). Precues were evaluated in a procedural task requiring the user to press buttons in three surrounding workspaces. Participants performed fastest in conditions where tasks were linked with line cues with different levels of color transparency. Precue performance was also affected by whether the next task was in the same workspace or a different one. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  3. Augmented reality (AR) has been used to guide users in multi-step tasks, providing information about the current step (cueing) or future steps (precueing). However, existing work exploring cueing and precueing a series of rigid-body transformations requiring rotation has only examined one-degree-of-freedom (DoF) rotations alone or in conjunction with 3DoF translations. In contrast, we address sequential tasks involving 3DoF rotations and 3DoF translations. We built a testbed to compare two types of visualizations for cueing and precueing steps. In each step, a user picks up an object, rotates it in 3D while translating it in 3D, and deposits it in a target 6DoF pose. Action-based visualizations show the actions needed to carry out a step and goal-based visualizations show the desired end state of a step. We conducted a user study to evaluate these visualizations and the efficacy of precueing. Participants performed better with goal-based visualizations than with action-based visualizations, and most effectively with goal-based visualizations aligned with the Euler axis. However, only a few of our participants benefited from precues, most likely because of the cognitive load of 3D rotations. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 16, 2024
  4. Many real-world factory tasks require human expertise and involvement for robot control. However, traditional robot operation requires that users undergo extensive and time-consuming robot-specific training to understand the specific constraints of each robot. We describe a user interface that supports a user in assigning and monitoring remote assembly tasks in Virtual Reality (VR) through high-level goal-based instructions rather than low-level direct control. Our user interface is part of a testbed in which a motion-planning algorithm determines, verifies, and executes robot-specific trajectories in simulation. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 13, 2024
  5. In virtual reality (VR) teleoperation and remote task guidance, a remote user may need to assign tasks to local technicians or robots at multiple sites. We are interested in scenarios where the user works with one site at a time, but must maintain awareness of the other sites for future intervention. We present an instrumented VR testbed for exploring how different spatial layouts of site representations impact user performance. In addition, we investigate ways of supporting the remote user in handling errors and interruptions from sites other than the one with which they are currently working, and switching between sites. We conducted a pilot study and explored how these factors affect user performance. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 13, 2024