Finalist for IROS Best Paper Award on Mobile Manipulation
This work investigates the effectiveness of tactile sensing for the practical everyday problem of stable object placement on flat surfaces starting from unknown initial poses. We devise a neural architecture that estimates a rotation matrix, resulting in a corrective gripper movement that aligns the object with the placing surface for the subsequent object manipulation. We compare models with different sensing modalities, such as force-torque, an external motion capture system, and two classical baseline models in real-world object placing tasks with different objects. The experimental evaluation of our placing policies with a set of unseen everyday objects reveals significant generalization of our proposed pipeline, suggesting that tactile sensing plays a vital role in the intrinsic understanding of robotic dexterous object manipulation.