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Volume 27 Issue 2 - Publication Date: 1 February 2008
 
Robotic Grasping of Novel Objects using Vision
 
Ashutosh Saxena, Justin Driemeyer and Andrew Y. Ng Computer Science Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
 
We consider the problem of grasping novel objects, specifically objects that are being seen for the first time through vision. Grasping a previously unknown object, one for which a 3-d model is not available, is a challenging problem. Furthermore, even if given a model, one still has to decide where to grasp the object. We present a learning algorithm that neither requires nor tries to build a 3-d model of the object. Given two (or more) images of an object, our algorithm attempts to identify a few points in each image corresponding to good locations at which to grasp the object. This sparse set of points is then triangulated to obtain a 3-d location at which to attempt a grasp. This is in contrast to standard dense stereo, which tries to triangulate every single point in an image (and often fails to return a good 3-d model). Our algorithm for identifying grasp locations from an image is trained by means of supervised learning, using synthetic images for the training set. We demonstrate this approach on two robotic manipulation platforms. Our algorithm successfully grasps a wide variety of objects, such as plates, tape rolls, jugs, cellphones, keys, screwdrivers, staplers, a thick coil of wire, a strangely shaped power horn and others, none of which were seen in the training set. We also apply our method to the task of unloading items from dishwashers.
 
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