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Seeing All the Angles: Learning Multiview Manipulation Policies for Contact-Rich Tasks from Demonstrations

04/28/2021
by   Trevor Ablett, et al.
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Learned visuomotor policies have shown considerable success as an alternative to traditional, hand-crafted frameworks for robotic manipulation tasks. Surprisingly, the extension of these methods to the multiview domain is relatively unexplored. A successful multiview policy could be deployed on a mobile manipulation platform, allowing it to complete a task regardless of its view of the scene. In this work, we demonstrate that a multiview policy can be found through imitation learning by collecting data from a variety of viewpoints. We illustrate the general applicability of the method by learning to complete several challenging multi-stage and contact-rich tasks, from numerous viewpoints, both in a simulated environment and on a real mobile manipulation platform. Furthermore, we analyze our policies to determine the benefits of learning from multiview data compared to learning with data from a fixed perspective. We show that learning from multiview data has little, if any, penalty to performance for a fixed-view task compared to learning with an equivalent amount of fixed-view data. Finally, we examine the visual features learned by the multiview and fixed-view policies. Our results indicate that multiview policies implicitly learn to identify spatially correlated features with a degree of view-invariance.

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