Skip to Main Content
Autonomous mobile robots must accomplish tasks in unknown and noisy environments. In this context, learning robot behaviors in an imitation based approach would be desirable in the perspective of service robotics as well as of learning robots. In this work, we use reservoir computing (RC) for learning robot behaviors by demonstration. In RC, a randomly generated recurrent neural network, the reservoir, projects the input to a dynamic temporal space. The reservoir states are mapped into a readout output layer which is the solely part being trained using standard linear regression. In this paper, we use a two layered modular structure, where the first layer comprises two RC networks, each one for learning primitive behaviors, namely, obstacle avoidance and target seeking. The second layer is composed of one RC network for behavior combination and coordination. The hierarchical RC network learns by examples given by simple controllers which implement the primitive behaviors. We use a simulation model of the e-puck robot which has distance sensors and a camera that serves as input for our system. The experiments show that, after training, the robot learns to coordinate the goal seeking (GS) and the object avoidance (OA) behaviors in unknown environments, being able to capture targets and navigate efficiently.