KITE: Keypoint-Conditioned Policies for Semantic ManipulationDownload PDF

Published: 30 Aug 2023, Last Modified: 27 Oct 2023CoRL 2023 PosterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Semantic Manipulation, Language Grounding, Keypoint Perception
TL;DR: We present a framework for semantic manipulation leveraging keypoint-based grounding and a library of skills for precise execution.
Abstract: While natural language offers a convenient shared interface for humans and robots, enabling robots to interpret and follow language commands remains a longstanding challenge in manipulation. A crucial step to realizing a performant instruction-following robot is achieving semantic manipulation – where a robot interprets language at different specificities, from high-level instructions like "Pick up the stuffed animal" to more detailed inputs like "Grab the left ear of the elephant." To tackle this, we propose Keypoints + Instructions to Execution, a two-step framework for semantic manipulation which attends to both scene semantics (distinguishing between different objects in a visual scene) and object semantics (precisely localizing different parts within an object instance). KITE first grounds an input instruction in a visual scene through 2D image keypoints, providing a highly accurate object-centric bias for downstream action inference. Provided an RGB-D scene observation, KITE then executes a learned keypoint-conditioned skill to carry out the instruction. The combined precision of keypoints and parameterized skills enables fine-grained manipulation with generalization to scene and object variations. Empirically, we demonstrate KITE in 3 real-world environments: long-horizon 6-DoF tabletop manipulation, semantic grasping, and a high-precision coffee-making task. In these settings, KITE achieves a 75%, 70%, and 71% overall success rate for instruction-following, respectively. KITE outperforms frameworks that opt for pre-trained visual language models over keypoint-based grounding, or omit skills in favor of end-to-end visuomotor control, all while being trained from fewer or comparable amounts of demonstrations. Supplementary material, datasets, code, and videos can be found on our website:
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