Similar Part Rearrangement With Pebble Graphs

Athanasios Krontiris, Rahul Shome, Andrew Dobson, Andrew Kimmel, Issac Yochelson, Kostas Bekris

This work proposes a method for effectively computing manipulation paths to rearrange similar objects in a cluttered space. The solution can be used to place similar products in a factory floor in a desirable arrangement or for retrieving a particular object from a shelf blocked by similarly sized objects. These are challenging problems as they involve combinatorially large, continuous configuration spaces due to the presence of multiple moving bodies and kinematically complex manipulators. This work leverages ideas from algorithmic theory, multi-robot motion planning and manipulation planning to propose appropriate graphical representations for this challenge. These representations allow to quickly reason whether manipulation paths allow the transition between entire sets of objects arrangements without having to explicitly enumerate the path for each pair of arrangements. The proposed method also allows to take advantage of precomputation given a manipulation roadmap for transferring a single object in the same cluttered space. The resulting approach is evaluated in simulation for a realistic model of a Baxter robot and executed in open-loop on the real system, showing that the approach solves complex instances and is promising in terms of scalability and success ratio.

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