My main goal in this talk is to discuss some manipulation capabilities that I believe are essential to develop practical autonomous robotic manipulation systems. These are manipulation skills that I wish my robots had. Ill start the talk by briefing on recent work by Team MIT-Princeton in the Amazon Robotics Challenge to develop a robotic pick-and-place system capable of grasping and recognizing novel objects in cluttered environments. Ill also describe the challenges derived from the lack of practical solutions to exploit feedback and contact sensing, which make of grasping a yet unsolved problem. In the second part of the presentation I will share ideas on what I think are some of the missing capabilities to build systems with dexterity. I will finish by describing current efforts in my group to develop perception, planning, and control algorithms that explicitly embrace contact: 1) by exploiting contacts with the environment; 2) by fusing tactile and vision sensing in real time; and 3) by enabling fast reactive control.
Speaker: Alberto Rodriguez, MIT