Cloth Grasp Point Detection based on Multiple-View Geometric Cues with Application to Robotic Towel Folding
Jeremy Maitin-Shepard, Marco Cusumano-Towner, Jinna Lei and Pieter Abbeel
(To be presented at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2010)
Full text (PDF)
We present a novel vision-based grasp point detection algorithm that can reliably detect the corners of a piece of
cloth, using only geometric cues that are robust to variation in texture.
Furthermore, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm in the context of folding a towel using a
general-purpose two-armed mobile robotic platform without the use of specialized end-effectors or tools. The robot
begins by picking up a randomly dropped towel from a table, goes through a sequence of vision-based re-grasps and
manipulations---partially in the air, partially on the table---and finally stacks the folded towel in a target
location. The reliability and robustness of our algorithm enables for the first time a robot with general
purpose manipulators to reliably and fully-autonomously fold previously unseen towels, demonstrating success on all 50
out of 50 single-towel trials as well as on a pile of 5 towels.
We give warm thanks to our collaborators at Willow Garage for giving us the opportunity to work with their robotic platform and for their valuable input during our experiments.