Autonomously learning to visually detect where manipulation will succeed

Thumbnail Image
Nguyen, Hai
Kemp, Charles C.
Associated Organization(s)
Supplementary to
Visual features can help predict if a manipulation behavior will succeed at a given location. For example, the success of a behavior that flips light switches depends on the location of the switch. We present methods that enable a mobile manipulator to autonomously learn a function that takes an RGB image and a registered 3D point cloud as input and returns a 3D location at which a manipulation behavior is likely to succeed. With our methods, robots autonomously train a pair of support vector machine (SVM) classifiers by trying behaviors at locations in the world and observing the results. Our methods require a pair of manipulation behaviors that can change the state of the world between two sets (e.g., light switch up and light switch down), classifiers that detect when each behavior has been successful, and an initial hint as to where one of the behaviors will be successful. When given an image feature vector associated with a 3D location, a trained SVM predicts if the associated manipulation behavior will be successful at the 3D location. To evaluate our approach, we performed experiments with a PR2 robot from Willow Garage in a simulated home using behaviors that flip a light switch, push a rocker-type light switch, and operate a drawer. By using active learning, the robot efficiently learned SVMs that enabled it to consistently succeed at these tasks. After training, the robot also continued to learn in order to adapt in the event of failure.
Date Issued
Resource Type
Resource Subtype
Rights Statement
Rights URI