SE(3)-Equivariant Relational Rearrangement with Neural Descriptor Fields

We present a method for performing tasks involving spatial relations between novel object instances initialized in arbitrary poses directly from point cloud observations. Our framework provides a scalable way for specifying new tasks using only 5-10 demonstrations. Object rearrangement is formalized as the question of finding actions that configure task-relevant parts of the object in a desired alignment. This formalism is implemented in three steps: assigning a consistent local coordinate frame to the task-relevant object parts, determining the location and orientation of this coordinate frame on unseen object instances, and executing an action that brings these frames into the desired alignment. We overcome the key technical challenge of determining task-relevant local coordinate frames from a few demonstrations by developing an optimization method based on Neural Descriptor Fields (NDFs) and a single annotated 3D keypoint. An energy-based learning scheme to model the joint configuration of the objects that satisfies a desired relational task further improves performance. The method is tested on three multi-object rearrangement tasks in simulation and on a real robot. Project website, videos, and code:

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