Online Replanning with Human-in-The-Loop for Non-Prehensile Manipulation in Clutter - A Trajectory Optimization based Approach

Rafael Papallas, Anthony G. Cohn and Mehmet R. Dogar

To appear in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) and to be presented
at IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2020

Abstract

We are interested in the problem where a number of robots, in parallel, are trying to solve reaching through clutter problems in a simulated warehouse setting. In such a setting, we investigate the performance increase that can be achieved by using a human-in-the-loop providing guidance to robot planners. These manipulation problems are challenging for autonomous planners as they have to search for a solution in a high-dimensional space. In addition, physics simulators suffer from the uncertainty problem where a valid trajectory in simulation can be invalid when executing the trajectory in the real-world. To tackle these problems, we propose an online-replanning method with a human-in-the-loop. This system enables a robot to plan and execute a trajectory autonomously, but also to seek high-level suggestions from a human operator if required at any point during execution. This method aims to minimize the human effort required, thereby increasing the number of robots that can be guided in parallel by a single human operator. We performed experiments in simulation and on a real robot, using an experienced and a novice operator. Our results show a significant increase in performance when using our approach in a simulated warehouse scenario and six robots.

Demo Video

Citation

Plain

Papallas, R. and Cohn, A.G and Dogar, M.R., 2020. Online Replanning with Human-in-The-Loop for Non-Prehensile Manipulation in Clutter — A Trajectory Optimization based Approach. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L).

Bibtex

@article{papallas2020online,
  title={Online Replanning with Human-in-The-Loop for Non-Prehensile Manipulation in Clutter — A Trajectory Optimization based Approach},
  author={Papallas, Rafael and Cohn, Anthony G and Dogar, Mehmet R},
  journal={{IEEE} Robotics and Automation Letters},
  year={2020},
  publisher={IEEE}
}

Authors

Authors are with the School of Computing, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

This research has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grants agreement No. 746143, the AI4EU project (agreement No. 825619), from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council under grant EP/N509681/1, EP/P019560/1 and EP/R031193/1, and a Turing Fellowship to the second author.