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Spring 2022 GRASP SFI: Shuran Song, Columbia University, “The Reasonable Effectiveness of Dynamic Manipulation for Deformable Objects”

March 16 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

*This will be a HYBRID Event with in-person attendance in Levine 512 and Virtual attendance via Zoom

From unfurling a blanket to swinging a rope; high-velocity dynamic actions play a crucial role in how people interact with deformable objects. In this talk, I will discuss how we can get robots to learn to dynamically manipulate deformable objects, where we embrace high-velocity dynamics rather than avoid them (e.g., exclusively using slow pick and place actions). With robots that can fling, swing, or blow with air, our experiments show that these interactions are surprisingly effective for many classically hard manipulation problems and enable new robot capabilities.

Shuran Song

Columbia University

Shuran Song is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University. Before that, she received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Princeton University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of computer vision and robotics. She is a recipient of several awards including the Best Paper Award at T-RO ‘20, Best Systems Paper Award at CORL’21 and RSS ‘19, Best Manipulation Systems Paper Award from Amazon ‘18, and has been finalists for Best Paper Awards at conferences ICRA ‘20, CVPR’19, RSS ‘19, IROS ‘18. She has received research awards from Toyota Research Institute, Microsoft Research, Amazon, and JP Morgan.


March 16
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Category:


General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab
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Levine 512