Helping Robots Learn: A Human-Robot Master-Apprentice Model Using Demonstrations via Virtual Reality Teleoperation

Joseph Delpreto, Jeffrey I. Lipton, Lindsay Sanneman, Aidan J. Fay, Christopher Fourie, Changhyun Choi, Daniela Rus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

As artificial intelligence becomes an increasingly prevalent method of enhancing robotic capabilities, it is important to consider effective ways to train these learning pipelines and to leverage human expertise. Working towards these goals, a master-apprentice model is presented and is evaluated during a grasping task for effectiveness and human perception. The apprenticeship model augments self-supervised learning with learning by demonstration, efficiently using the human's time and expertise while facilitating future scalability to supervision of multiple robots; the human provides demonstrations via virtual reality when the robot cannot complete the task autonomously. Experimental results indicate that the robot learns a grasping task with the apprenticeship model faster than with a solely self-supervised approach and with fewer human interventions than a solely demonstration-based approach; 100% grasping success is obtained after 150 grasps with 19 demonstrations. Preliminary user studies evaluating workload, usability, and effectiveness of the system yield promising results for system scalability and deployability. They also suggest a tendency for users to overestimate the robot's skill and to generalize its capabilities, especially as learning improves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages10226-10233
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728173955
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2020 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2020 - Paris, France
Duration: May 31 2020Aug 31 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Conference

Conference2020 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2020
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityParis
Period5/31/208/31/20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work was funded in part by the Boeing Company. Part of this work was conducted during MIT’s “Human Systems Engineering” course taught by Professor Leia Stirling.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE.

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