Deep Differentiable Grasp Planner for High-DOF Grippers


We present an end-to-end algorithm for training deep neural networks to grasp novel objects. Our algorithm builds all the essential components of a grasping system using a forward-backward automatic differentiation approach, including the forward kinematics of the gripper, the collision between the gripper and the target object, and the metric of grasp poses. In particular, we show that a generalized Q_1 grasp metric is defined and differentiable for inexact grasps generated by a neural network, and the derivatives of our generalized Q_1 metric can be computed from a sensitivity analysis of the induced optimization problem. We show that the derivatives of the (self-)collision terms can be efficiently computed from a watertight triangle mesh of low-quality. Put together, our algorithm allows the computation of grasp poses for high-DOF grippers in unsupervised mode with no ground truth data or improves the results in supervised mode using a small dataset. Our new learning algorithm significantly simplifies the data preparation for learning-based grasping systems and leads to higher qualities of learned grasps on common 3D shape datasets, achieving 22% higher success rate on physical hardware and 0.12 higher value of the Q_1 grasp quality metric.

Robotics: Science and Systems, 2020