bodies-uncovered

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Bodies Uncovered: Learning to Manipulate Real Blankets Around People via Physics Simulations

Kavya Puthuveetil (Georgia Tech), Charles C. Kemp (Georgia Tech), Zackory Erickson (CMU) Submitted to IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) and International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2022

Abstract

While robots present an opportunity to provide physical assistance to older adults and people with mobility impairments in bed, people frequently rest in bed with blankets that cover the majority of their body. To provide assistance for many daily self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, or ambulating, a caregiver must first uncover blankets from part of a person’s body. In this work, we introduce a formulation for robotic bedding manipulation around people in which a robot uncovers a blanket from a target body part while ensuring the rest of the human body remains covered. We compare both reinforcement and supervised learning approaches for optimizing policies which provide a robot with grasp and release points that uncover a target part of the body. We trained and conducted evaluations of these policies in physics simulation environments that consist of a deformable cloth mesh covering a simulated human lying supine on a bed. In addition, we transfer simulation-trained policies to a real mobile manipulator and demonstrate that it can uncover a blanket from target body parts of a manikin lying in bed. Source code is available online.

Citation

“Bodies Uncovered: Learning to Manipulate Real Blankets Around People via Physics Simulations”

K. Puthuveetil, C. C. Kemp, and Z. Erickson, “Bodies Uncovered: Learning to Manipulate Real Blankets Around People via Physics Simulations,” 2021.

Bibtex
@misc{puthuveetil2021bodies,
      title={Bodies Uncovered: Learning to Manipulate Real Blankets Around People via Physics Simulations}, 
      author={Kavya Puthuveetil and Charles C. Kemp and Zackory Erickson},
      year={2021},
      eprint={2109.04930},
      archivePrefix={arXiv},
      primaryClass={cs.RO}
}