Guided Pushing for Object Singulation

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Title: Guided Pushing for Object Singulation
Author: Hermans, Tucker ; Rehg, James M. ; Bobick, Aaron
Abstract: We propose a novel method for a robot to separate and segment objects in a cluttered tabletop environment. The method leverages the fact that external object boundaries produce visible edges within an object cluster. We achieve this singulation of objects by using the robot arm to perform pushing actions specifically selected to test whether particular visible edges correspond to object boundaries. We verify the separation of objects after a push by examining the clusters formed by geometric segmentation of regions residing on the table surface. To avoid explicitly representing and tracking edges across push behaviors we aggregate over all edges in a given orientation by representing the push-history as an orientation histogram. By tracking the history of directions pushed for each object cluster we can build evidence that a cluster cannot be further separated. We present quantitative and qualitative experimental results performed in a real home environment by a mobile manipulator using input from an RGB-D camera mounted on the robot’s head. We show that our pushing strategy can more reliably obtain singulation in fewer pushes than an approach, that does not explicitly reason about boundary information.
Description: ©2012 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other users, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted components of this work in other works. Presented at the 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 7-12 October 2012, Vilamoura, Portugal.
Type: Proceedings
Citation: Hermans, T., Rehg, J. M., & Bobick, A. (2012). "Guided Pushing for Object Singulation”. To appear in Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2012), 7-12 October 2012.
Date: 2012-10
Contributor: Georgia Institute of Technology. Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Georgia Institute of Technology. School of Interactive Computing
Publisher: Georgia Institute of Technology
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Subject: Cluttered surfaces
Object placement

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