Extracting Contact and Motion from Manipulation Videos [article]

Konstantinos Zampogiannis, Kanishka Ganguly, Cornelia Fermuller, Yiannis Aloimonos
2019 arXiv   pre-print
When we physically interact with our environment using our hands, we touch objects and force them to move: contact and motion are defining properties of manipulation. In this paper, we present an active, bottom-up method for the detection of actor-object contacts and the extraction of moved objects and their motions in RGBD videos of manipulation actions. At the core of our approach lies non-rigid registration: we continuously warp a point cloud model of the observed scene to the current video
more » ... rame, generating a set of dense 3D point trajectories. Under loose assumptions, we employ simple point cloud segmentation techniques to extract the actor and subsequently detect actor-environment contacts based on the estimated trajectories. For each such interaction, using the detected contact as an attention mechanism, we obtain an initial motion segment for the manipulated object by clustering trajectories in the contact area vicinity and then we jointly refine the object segment and estimate its 6DOF pose in all observed frames. Because of its generality and the fundamental, yet highly informative, nature of its outputs, our approach is applicable to a wide range of perception and planning tasks. We qualitatively evaluate our method on a number of input sequences and present a comprehensive robot imitation learning example, in which we demonstrate the crucial role of our outputs in developing action representations/plans from observation.
arXiv:1807.04870v3 fatcat:ndoz3k45lvfijeieel7tergrxy