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Robotic imitation from human motion capture using Gaussian processes

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3 Author(s)
Shon, A.P. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Washington Univ., Seattle, WA ; Grochow, K. ; Rao, R.P.N.

Programming by demonstration, also called "imitation learning," offers the possibility of flexible, easily modifiable robotic systems. Full-fledged robotic imitation learning comprises many difficult subtasks. However, we argue that, at its core, imitation learning reduces to a regression problem. We propose a two-step framework in which an imitating agent first performs a regression from a high-dimensional observation space to a low-dimensional latent variable space. In the second step, the agent performs a regression from the latent variable space to a high-dimensional space representing degrees of freedom of its motor system. We demonstrate the validity of the approach by learning to map motion capture data from human actors to a humanoid robot. We also contrast use of several low-dimensional latent variable spaces, each covering a subset of agents' degrees of freedom, with use of a single, higher-dimensional latent variable space. Our findings suggest that compositing several regression models together yields qualitatively better imitation results than using a single, more complex regression model

Published in:

Humanoid Robots, 2005 5th IEEE-RAS International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-5 Dec. 2005

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