Learning to Grasp the Ungraspable with Emergent Extrinsic DexterityDownload PDF

16 Jun 2022, 10:45 (modified: 30 Oct 2022, 21:30)CoRL 2022 OralReaders: Everyone
Student First Author: yes
Keywords: Manipulation, Reinforcement Learning, Extrinsic Dexterity
TL;DR: We build a system for the "Occluded Grasping" task with the combination of reinforcement learning and extrinsic dexterity that works on a real robot.
Abstract: A simple gripper can solve more complex manipulation tasks if it can utilize the external environment such as pushing the object against the table or a vertical wall, known as "Extrinsic Dexterity." Previous work in extrinsic dexterity usually has careful assumptions about contacts which impose restrictions on robot design, robot motions, and the variations of the physical parameters. In this work, we develop a system based on reinforcement learning (RL) to address these limitations. We study the task of "Occluded Grasping" which aims to grasp the object in configurations that are initially occluded; the robot needs to move the object into a configuration from which these grasps can be achieved. We present a system with model-free RL that successfully achieves this task using a simple gripper with extrinsic dexterity. The policy learns emergent behaviors of pushing the object against the wall to rotate and then grasp it without additional reward terms on extrinsic dexterity. We discuss important components of the system including the design of the RL problem, multi-grasp training and selection, and policy generalization with automatic curriculum. Most importantly, the policy trained in simulation is zero-shot transferred to a physical robot. It demonstrates dynamic and contact-rich motions with a simple gripper that generalizes across objects with various size, density, surface friction, and shape with a 78% success rate.
Supplementary Material: zip
Website: https://sites.google.com/view/grasp-ungraspable
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