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Learning to Interact with Environment via Geometry-Based Robot Grasping


The ability to learning from interaction with environments shapes an intelligent agent. For exploratory robots, they need specific structured action to interact with the physical world efficiently. Geometry-based grasping, which serves as the primary action for many complex manipulation tasks, can be of great help for robot exploration. With a learned grasping strategy, the robot can directly execute object-specific action. This thesis studies the problem of 6-DoF geometric grasping by a parallel gripper captured using a commodity depth sensor from a single viewpoint. We address the problem in a learning-based framework with point cloud input. At the higher level, we rely on a single-shot grasp proposal network built upon the PointNet++ backbone. Our single-shot neural network architecture can predict grasp proposals efficiently and effectively. At the lower level, we proposed a method to generate training data automatically. Our training data synthesis pipeline can generate scenes of complex object configuration and leverage an innovative gripper contact model to create dense and high-quality grasp annotations. Experiments in synthetic and real environments have demonstrated that the proposed approach can outperform the state-of-the-art geometry-based grasping method by a large margin. The grasp proposal network trained in a synthetic scene can work well in real-world scenarios, which also shows the point-based method have high potential to bridge the sim-to-real gap. We hope the work of the geometric grasping algorithm will help future research for more complex robot manipulation skills.

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