Keywords: Long horizon planning, deformable object manipulation
Abstract: Effective planning of long-horizon deformable object manipulation requires suitable abstractions at both the spatial and temporal levels. Previous methods typically either focus on short-horizon tasks or make strong assumptions that full-state information is available, which prevents their use on deformable objects. In this paper, we propose PlAnning with Spatial-Temporal Abstraction (PASTA), which incorporates both spatial abstraction (reasoning about objects and their relations to each other) and temporal abstraction (reasoning over skills instead of low-level actions). Our framework maps high-dimension 3D observations such as point clouds into a set of latent vectors and plans over skill sequences on top of the latent set representation. We show that our method can effectively perform challenging sequential deformable object manipulation tasks in the real world, which require combining multiple tool-use skills such as cutting with a knife, pushing with a pusher, and spreading dough with a roller. Additional materials can be found at our project website: https://sites.google.com/view/pasta-plan.