Sunday, February 21, 2016

Robots Can Now Flawlessly Iron Clothes

 Multi-Sensor Surface Analysis for Robotic Ironing

Published on Jan 20, 2016
The paper will be presented in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Stockholm, May 2016.
Author: Yinxiao Li, Xiuhan Hu, Danfei Xu, Yonghao Yue, Eitan Grinspun, Peter Allen (Columbia University)
Paper link:

Related work can be found here.

Robotic manipulation of deformable objects remains a challenging task. One such task is to iron a piece of cloth autonomously. Given a roughly flattened cloth, the goal is to have an ironing plan that can iteratively apply a regular iron to remove all the major wrinkles by a robot. We present a novel solution to analyze the cloth surface by fusing two surface scan techniques: a curvature scan and a discontinuity scan. The curvature scan can estimate the height deviation of the cloth surface, while the discontinuity scan can effectively detect sharp surface features, such as wrinkles. We use this information to detect the regions that need to be pulled and extended before ironing, and the other regions where we want to detect wrinkles and apply ironing to remove the wrinkles. We demonstrate that our hybrid scan technique is able to capture and classify wrinkles over the surface robustly. Given detected wrinkles, we enable a robot to iron them using shape features. Experimental results show that using our wrinkle analysis algorithm, our robot is able to iron the cloth surface and effectively remove the wrinkles.
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