Orienting Novel 3D Objects Using Self-Supervised Learning of Rotation Transforms

29 May 2021  ·  Shivin Devgon, Jeffrey Ichnowski, Ashwin Balakrishna, Harry Zhang, Ken Goldberg ·

Orienting objects is a critical component in the automation of many packing and assembly tasks. We present an algorithm to orient novel objects given a depth image of the object in its current and desired orientation. We formulate a self-supervised objective for this problem and train a deep neural network to estimate the 3D rotation as parameterized by a quaternion, between these current and desired depth images. We then use the trained network in a proportional controller to re-orient objects based on the estimated rotation between the two depth images. Results suggest that in simulation we can rotate unseen objects with unknown geometries by up to 30{\deg} with a median angle error of 1.47{\deg} over 100 random initial/desired orientations each for 22 novel objects. Experiments on physical objects suggest that the controller can achieve a median angle error of 4.2{\deg} over 10 random initial/desired orientations each for 5 objects.

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