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Journal Article

Sequential Dexterity: Chaining Dexterous Policies for Long-Horizon Manipulation

Many real-world manipulation tasks consist of a series of subtasks that are significantly different from one another. Such long-horizon, complex tasks highlight the potential of dexterous hands, which possess adaptability and versatility, capable of seamlessly transitioning between different modes of functionality without the need for re-grasping or external tools. However, the challenges arise due to the high-dimensional action space of dexterous hand and complex compositional dynamics of the long-horizon tasks. We present Sequential Dexterity, a general system based on reinforcement learning (RL) that chains multiple dexterous policies for achieving long-horizon task goals. The core of the system is a transition feasibility function that progressively finetunes the sub-policies for enhancing chaining success rate, while also enables autonomous policy-switching for recovery from failures and bypassing redundant stages. Despite being trained only in simulation with a few task objects, our system demonstrates generalization capability to novel object shapes and is able to zero-shot transfer to a real-world robot equipped with a dexterous hand.

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Yuanpei Chen*
Chen Wang*
Li Fei-Fei
C. Karen Liu
Journal Name
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL), 2023
Publication Date
November, 2023