ICAR Best Paper for Rusu, Meeussen, Chitta, and Beetz


Our biggest hope for the PR2 is that it will be a cutting-edge research platform for creating capable robots, so a huge congratulations and thanks to Radu Bogdan Rusu and Michael Beetz of TUM as well as Wim Meeussen and Sachin Chitta of Willow Garage for getting an Best Paper award at International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR 2009). ICAR 2009's theme was "able robots," which was also a focus of our Milestone 2 goal of having the PR2 navigate for 26.2 miles, open doors, and plug itself in. Their paper, "Laser-based Perception for Door and Handle Identification," describes in great detail some of the door-detection algorithms that were instrumental in achieving this milestone, which required the PR2 alpha robot to successfully open multiple closed and partially open doors.

Here's the abstract:

"In this paper, we present a laser-based approach for door and handle identification. The approach builds on a 3D perception pipeline to annotate doors and their handles solely from sensed laser data, without any a priori model learning. In particular, we segment the parts of interest using robust geometric estimators and statistical methods applied on geometric and intensity distribution variations in the scan. We present experimental results on a mobile manipulation platform (PR2) intended for indoor manipulation tasks. We validate the approach by generating trajectories that position the robot effector in front of door handles and grasp the handle. The of our approach is demonstrated by real world experiments on a large set of doors."