A robot can feasibly be given knowledge of a set of tools for manipulation activities (e.g. hammer, knife, spatula). If the robot then operates outside a closed environment it is likely to face situations where the tool it knows is not available, but alternative unknown tools are present. We tackle the problem of finding the best substitute tool based solely on 3D vision data. Our approach has simple hand-coded models of known tools in terms of superquadrics and relationships among them. Our system attempts to fit these models to point clouds of unknown tools, producing a numeric value for how good a fit is. This value can be used to rate candidate substitutes. We explicitly control how closely each part of a tool must match our model, under direction from parameters of a target task. We allow bottom-up information from segmentation to dictate the sizes that should be considered for various parts of the tool. These ideas allow for a flexible matching so that tools may be superficially quite different, but similar in the way that matters. We evaluate our system's ratings relative to other approaches and relative to human performance in the same task. This is an approach to knowledge transfer, via a suitable representation and reasoning engine, and we discuss how this could be extended to transfer in planning.
- three-dimensional (3-D) displays
- data models
- computational modeling
- solid modeling
- numerical models