Abstract: Learning diverse dexterous manipulation behaviors with assorted objects remains an open grand challenge. While policy learning methods offer a powerful avenue to attack this problem, they require extensive per-task engineering and algorithmic tuning. This paper seeks to escape these constraints, by developing a Pre-Grasp informed Dexterous Manipulation (PGDM) framework that generates diverse dexterous manipulation behaviors, without any task-specific reasoning or hyper-parameter tuning. At the core of PGDM is a well known robotics construct, pre-grasps (i.e. the hand-pose preparing for object interaction). This simple primitive is enough to induce efficient exploration strategies for acquiring complex dexterous manipulation behaviors. To exhaustively verify these claims, we introduce TCDM, a benchmark of 50 diverse manipulation tasks defined over multiple objects and dexterous manipulators. Tasks for TCDM are defined automatically using exem-plar object trajectories from various sources (animators, human behaviors, etc.), without any per-task engineering and/or supervision. Our experiments validate that PGDM’s exploration strategy, induced by a surprisingly simple ingredient (single pre-grasp pose), matches the performance of prior methods, which require expen-sive per-task feature/reward engineering, expert supervision, and hyper-parameter tuning. For animated visualizations, trained policies, and project code, please refer to https://pregrasps.github.io/.
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