Visual Dexterity: In-hand Dexterous Manipulation from Depth

Tao Chen     Megha Tippur     Siyang Wu     Vikash Kumar     Edward Adelson     Pulkit Agrawal
Improbable AI Lab
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


In-hand object reorientation is necessary for performing many dexterous manipulation tasks, such as tool use in unstructured environments that remain beyond the reach of current robots. Prior works built reorientation systems that assume one or many of the following specific circumstances: reorienting only specific objects with simple shapes, limited range of reorientation, slow or quasistatic manipulation, the need for specialized and costly sensor suites, simulation-only results, and other constraints which make the system infeasible for real-world deployment. We overcome these limitations and present a general object reorientation controller that is trained using reinforcement learning in simulation and evaluated in the real world. Our system uses readings from a single commodity depth camera to dynamically reorient complex objects by any amount in real time. The controller generalizes to novel objects not used during training. It is successful in the most challenging test: the ability to reorient objects in the air held by a downward-facing hand that must counteract gravity during reorientation. The results demonstrate that the policy transfer from simulation to the real world can be accomplished even for dynamic and contact-rich tasks. Lastly, our hardware only uses open-source components that cost less than five thousand dollars. Such construction makes it possible to replicate the work and democratize future research in dexterous manipulation.


Visual Dexterity: In-hand Dexterous Manipulation from Depth
Tao Chen, Megha Tippur, Siyang Wu, Vikash Kumar, Edward Adelson, Pulkit Agrawal
arXiv / project page / bibtex


Continous Reorientation in the Air

Once a goal orientation is reached, and the hand stops, we give it a new goal orientation.


A System for General In-Hand Object Re-Orientation
Tao Chen, Jie Xu, Pulkit Agrawal
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL), 2021 (Best Paper Award)
paper / arXiv / project page / bibtex