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Learning Task Error Models for Manipulation


Conference Paper



Precise kinematic forward models are important for robots to successfully perform dexterous grasping and manipula- tion tasks, especially when visual servoing is rendered infeasible due to occlusions. A lot of research has been conducted to estimate geometric and non-geometric parameters of kinematic chains to minimize reconstruction errors. However, kinematic chains can include non-linearities, e.g. due to cable stretch and motor-side encoders, that result in significantly different errors for different parts of the state space. Previous work either does not consider such non-linearities or proposes to estimate non-geometric parameters of carefully engineered models that are robot specific. We propose a data-driven approach that learns task error models that account for such unmodeled non-linearities. We argue that in the context of grasping and manipulation, it is sufficient to achieve high accuracy in the task relevant state space. We identify this relevant state space using previously executed joint configurations and learn error corrections for those. Therefore, our system is developed to generate subsequent executions that are similar to previous ones. The experiments show that our method successfully captures the non-linearities in the head kinematic chain (due to a counter- balancing spring) and the arm kinematic chains (due to cable stretch) of the considered experimental platform, see Fig. 1. The feasibility of the presented error learning approach has also been evaluated in independent DARPA ARM-S testing contributing to successfully complete 67 out of 72 grasping and manipulation tasks.

Author(s): Pastor, P. and Kalakrishnan, M. and Binney, J. and Kelly, J. and Righetti, L. and Sukhatme, G. and Schaal, S.
Book Title: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Year: 2013

Department(s): Autonomous Motion, Movement Generation and Control
Research Project(s): Autonomous Robotic Manipulation
Bibtex Type: Conference Paper (inproceedings)

Links: PDF


  title = {Learning Task Error Models for Manipulation},
  author = {Pastor, P. and Kalakrishnan, M. and Binney, J. and Kelly, J. and Righetti, L. and Sukhatme, G. and Schaal, S.},
  booktitle = {IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation},
  year = {2013}