Learning Closed-loop Dough Manipulation Using a Differentiable Reset Module [article]

Carl Qi, Xingyu Lin, David Held
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Deformable object manipulation has many applications such as cooking and laundry folding in our daily lives. Manipulating elastoplastic objects such as dough is particularly challenging because dough lacks a compact state representation and requires contact-rich interactions. We consider the task of flattening a piece of dough into a specific shape from RGB-D images. While the task is seemingly intuitive for humans, there exist local optima for common approaches such as naive trajectory
more » ... tion. We propose a novel trajectory optimizer that optimizes through a differentiable "reset" module, transforming a single-stage, fixed-initialization trajectory into a multistage, multi-initialization trajectory where all stages are optimized jointly. We then train a closed-loop policy on the demonstrations generated by our trajectory optimizer. Our policy receives partial point clouds as input, allowing ease of transfer from simulation to the real world. We show that our policy can perform real-world dough manipulation, flattening a ball of dough into a target shape.
arXiv:2207.04638v1 fatcat:6w3y3hwqpzaxdbnis2ascitg6u