Learning to Imagine Manipulation Goals for Robot Task Planning

8 Nov 2017  ·  Chris Paxton, Kapil Katyal, Christian Rupprecht, Raman Arora, Gregory D. Hager ·

Prospection is an important part of how humans come up with new task plans, but has not been explored in depth in robotics. Predicting multiple task-level is a challenging problem that involves capturing both task semantics and continuous variability over the state of the world. Ideally, we would combine the ability of machine learning to leverage big data for learning the semantics of a task, while using techniques from task planning to reliably generalize to new environment. In this work, we propose a method for learning a model encoding just such a representation for task planning. We learn a neural net that encodes the $k$ most likely outcomes from high level actions from a given world. Our approach creates comprehensible task plans that allow us to predict changes to the environment many time steps into the future. We demonstrate this approach via application to a stacking task in a cluttered environment, where the robot must select between different colored blocks while avoiding obstacles, in order to perform a task. We also show results on a simple navigation task. Our algorithm generates realistic image and pose predictions at multiple points in a given task.

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