SE(2)-Equivariant Pushing Dynamics Models for Tabletop Object ManipulationsDownload PDF

Published: 10 Sept 2022, Last Modified: 05 May 2023CoRL 2022 OralReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Pushing dynamics learning, Pushing manipulation, Symmetry and Equivariance
TL;DR: We propose a SE(2)-equivariant pushing dynamics model for tabletop object manipulations.
Abstract: For tabletop object manipulation tasks, learning an accurate pushing dynamics model, which predicts the objects' motions when a robot pushes an object, is very important. In this work, we claim that an ideal pushing dynamics model should have the SE(2)-equivariance property, i.e., if tabletop objects' poses and pushing action are transformed by some same planar rigid-body transformation, then the resulting motion should also be the result of the same transformation. Existing state-of-the-art data-driven approaches do not have this equivariance property, resulting in less-than-desirable learning performances. In this paper, we propose a new neural network architecture that by construction has the above equivariance property. Through extensive empirical validations, we show that the proposed model shows significantly improved learning performances over the existing methods. Also, we verify that our pushing dynamics model can be used for various downstream pushing manipulation tasks such as the object moving, singulation, and grasping in both simulation and real robot experiments. Code is available at
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