Hierarchical Planning for Rope Manipulation using Knot Theory and a Learned Inverse ModelDownload PDF

Published: 30 Aug 2023, Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023CoRL 2023 PosterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Manipulation, Robot Learning and Planning
TL;DR: Tying with Inverse model and search in topological space excluding demos
Abstract: This work considers planning the manipulation of deformable 1-dimensional objects, such as ropes or cables, specifically to tie knots. We propose TWISTED: Tying With Inverse model and Search in Topological space Excluding Demos, a hierarchical planning approach which, at the high level, uses ideas from knot-theory to plan a sequence of rope configurations, while at the low level uses a neural-network inverse model to move between the configurations in the high-level plan. To train the neural network, we propose a self-supervised approach, where we learn from random movements of the rope. To focus the random movements on interesting configurations, such as knots, we propose a non-uniform sampling method tailored for this domain. In a simulation, we show that our approach can plan significantly faster and more accurately than baselines. We also show that our plans are robust to parameter changes in the physical simulation, suggesting future applications via sim2real.
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