Learning to Recognize and Grasp Objects

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We apply techniques of computer vision and neural network learning to get a versatile robot manipulator. All work conducted follows the principle of autonomous learning from visual demonstration. The user must demonstrate the relevant objects, situations, and/or actions, and the robot vision system must learn from those. For approaching and grasping technical objects three principal tasks have to be done—calibrating the camera-robot coordination, detecting the desired object in the images, and choosing a stable grasping pose. These procedures are based on (nonlinear) functions, which are not known a priori and therefore have to be learned. We uniformly approximate the necessary functions by networks of gaussian basis functions (GBF networks). By modifying the number of basis functions and/or the size of the gaussian support the quality of the function approximation changes. The appropriate configuration is learned in the training phase and applied during the operation phase. All experiments are carried out in real world applications using an industrial articulation robot manipulator and the computer vision system KHOROS.

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