University of Freiburg researcher JÃ¼rgen Sturm is just finishing his second internship here at Willow Garage. In addition to helping out with our egg-breaking efforts, he's been using the stereo cameras of PR2 to detect planar objects like doors, drawers, books, and boxes. More importantly, he has been tracking the movement of these objects to learn articulation models, i.e. how these objects move. Does the door open to the left or the right? Does the drawer slide in or out? Where will the handle of the drawer be when it is fully open? This is the sort of information that is critical for enabling robots to operate in our own environments.
We've posted a video of JÃ¼rgen discussing his findings as well as slides from a presentation that he gave at Willow Garage. You can also download his code from the planar_objects ROS package.