RCareWorld: A Human-Centric Simulation World for Caregiving Robots

Ruolin Ye1, Wenqiang Xu2, Haoyuan Fu3, Rajat Kumar Jenamani1, Vy Nguyen1, Cewu Lu4, Katherine Dimitropoulou5, Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee1

  • 1Cornell University
  • 2Shanghai Jiaotong University
  • 3Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • 4ShangHai Jiao Tong University
  • 5Columbia University
 IROS Best RoboCup Paper Award sponsored by RoboCup Federation


11:00 - 11:15 | Mon 24 Oct | Rm1 (Room A) | MoA-1.5

Session: Award Session I


In this paper, we present RCareWorld, a human-centric simulation world for physical and social robot caregiving with support for realistic human modeling, home environments with multiple levels of accessibility, and robots used for assistance. This simulation is designed using inputs from stakeholders such as expert occupational therapists, care-recipients, and caregivers. It provides a variety of benchmark ADL tasks in realistic settings. It interfaces with various physics engines to model rigid, articulated and deformable objects. It provides the capability to plan, control, and learn both human and robot control policies by interfacing it with state-of-the-art external planning and learning libraries. We performed experiments on a subset of these ADL tasks using reinforcement learning methods. We performed a representative real-world physical robotic caregiving experiment by transferring policies learned in RCareWorld directly to a real robot. Additionally, we performed a real-world social caregiving experiment using behaviors modeled in RCareWorld. Robotic caregiving, though potentially impactful towards enhancing the quality-of-life of care-recipients and caregivers, is a field with many barriers of entry due to it's interdisciplinary facets. RCareWorld takes the first step towards building a realistic simulation environment for robotic caregiving research to democratize this field that would enable robotics researchers around the world to contribute to this exciting field. Demo videos and supplementary materials can be found here: https://emprise.cs.cornell.edu/rcareworld/