Learning to reach into the unknown: Selecting initial conditions when reaching in clutter

Daehyung Park, Ariel Kapusta, You Keun Kim, James M. Rehg, Charles C. Kemp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Often in highly-cluttered environments, a robot can observe the exterior of the environment with ease, but cannot directly view nor easily infer its detailed internal structure (e.g., dense foliage or a full refrigerator shelf). We present a data-driven approach that greatly improves a robot's success at reaching to a goal location in the unknown interior of an environment based on observable external properties, such as the category of the clutter and the locations of openings into the clutter (i.e., apertures). We focus on the problem of selecting a good initial configuration for a manipulator when reaching with a greedy controller. We use density estimation to model the probability of a successful reach given an initial condition and then perform constrained optimization to find an initial condition with the highest estimated probability of success. We evaluate our approach with two simulated robots reaching in clutter, and provide a demonstration with a real PR2 robot reaching to locations through random apertures. In our evaluations, our approach significantly outperformed two alternative approaches when making two consecutive reach attempts to goals in distinct categories of unknown clutter. Our approach only uses sparse readily-apparent features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIROS 2014 Conference Digest - IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages630-637
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781479969340
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 31 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Sep 14 2014Sep 18 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866

Other

Other2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago
Period9/14/149/18/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications

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