Fast, High-Quality Dual-Arm Rearrangement in Synchronous, Monotone Tabletop Setups

Rahul Shome, Kiril Solovey, Jingjin Yu, Kostas Bekris, Dan Halperin

Rearranging objects on a planar surface arises in a variety of robotic applications, such as product packaging. Using two arms can improve efficiency but introduces new computational challenges. This paper studies the structure of dual-arm rearrangement for synchronous, monotone tabletop setups and develops an optimal mixed integer model. It then describes an efficient and scalable algorithm, which first minimizes the cost of object transfers and then of moves between objects. This is motivated by the fact that, asymptotically, object transfers dominate the cost of solutions. Moreover, a lazy strategy minimizes the number of motion planning calls and results in significant speedups. Theoretical arguments support the benefits of using two arms and indicate that synchronous execution, in which the two arms perform together either transfers or moves, introduces only a small overhead. Experiments support these points and show that the scalable method can quickly compute solutions close to the optimal for the considered setup.

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