PPS-Tags: Physical, Perceptual and Semantic Tags for Autonomous Mobile Manipulation

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Nguyen, Hai
Deyle, Travis
Reynolds, Matt S.
Kemp, Charles C.
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For many promising application areas, autonomous mobile manipulators do not yet exhibit sufficiently robust performance. We propose the use of tags applied to task-relevant locations in human environments in order to help autonomous mobile manipulators physically interact with the location, perceive the location, and understand the location’s semantics. We call these tags physical, perceptual and semantic tags (PPS-tags). We present three examples of PPS-tags, each of which combines compliant and colorful material with a UHF RFID tag. The RFID tag provides a unique identifier that indexes into a semantic database that holds information such as the following: what actions can be performed at the location, how can these actions be performed, and what state changes should be observed upon task success? We also present performance results for our robot operating on a PPS-tagged light switch, rocker light switch, lamp, drawer, and trash can. We tested the robot performing the available actions from 4 distinct locations with each of these 5 tagged devices. For the light switch, rocker light switch, lamp, and trash can, the robot succeeded in all trials (24/24). The robot failed to open the drawer when starting from an oblique angle, and thus succeeded in 6 out of 8 trials. We also tested the ability of the robot to detect failure in unusual circumstances, such as the lamp being unplugged and the drawer being stuck.
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