How Do We Use Our Hands? Discovering a Diverse Set of Common Grasps

Our aim is to show how state-of-the-art computer vision techniques can be used to advance prehensile analysis (i.e., understanding the functionality of human hands). Prehensile analysis is a broad field of multi-disciplinary interest, where researchers painstakingly manually analyze hours of hand-object interaction videos to understand the mechanics of hand manipulation. In this work, we present promising empirical results indicating that wearable cameras and unsupervised clustering techniques can be used to automatically discover common modes of human hand use. In particular, we use a first-person point-of-view camera to record common manipulation tasks and leverage its strengths for reliably observing human hand use. To learn a diverse set of hand-object interactions, we propose a fast online clustering algorithm based on the Determinantal Point Process (DPP). Furthermore, we develop a hierarchical extension to the DPP clustering algorithm and show that it can be used to discover appearance-based grasp taxonomies. Using a purely data-driven approach, our proposed algorithm is able to obtain hand grasp taxonomies that roughly correspond to the classic Cutkosky grasp taxonomy. We validate our approach on over 10 hours of first-person point-of-view videos in both choreographed and real-life scenarios.

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