Planning with a Receding Horizon for Manipulation in Clutter Using a Learned Value Function

Wissam Bejjani, Rafael Papallas, Matteo Leonetti and Mehmet Dogar

IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots
2018 | Beijing, China 🇨🇳

Manipulation in clutter requires solving complex sequential decision-making problems in an environment rich with physical interactions. The transfer of motion planning solutions from simulation to the real world, in open-loop, suffers from the inherent uncertainty in modelling real world physics. We propose interleaving planning and execution in real-time, in a closed-loop setting, using a Receding Horizon Planner (RHP) for pushing manipulation in clutter.

In this context, we address the problem of finding a suitable value function based heuristic for efficient planning, and for estimating the cost-to-go from the horizon to the goal. We estimate such a value function first by using plans generated by an existing sampling-based planner. Then, we further optimize the value function through reinforcement learning. We evaluate our approach and compare it to state-of-the-art planning techniques for manipulation in clutter. We conduct experiments in simulation with artificially injected uncertainty on the physics parameters, as well as in real world tasks of manipulation in clutter. We show that this approach enables the robot to react to the uncertain dynamics of the real world effectively.

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  title={Planning with a receding horizon for manipulation in clutter using a learned value function},
  author={Bejjani, Wissam and Papallas, Rafael and Leonetti, Matteo and Dogar, Mehmet R},
  booktitle={2018 IEEE-RAS 18th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids)},