Consider an assistive system that guides visually impaired users through speech and haptic feedback to their destination. Existing robotic and ubiquitous navigation technologies (e.g., portable, ground, or wearable systems) often operate in a generic, user-agnostic manner. However, to minimize confusion and navigation errors, our real-world analysis reveals a crucial need to adapt theinstructional guidance across different end-users with diverse mobility skills. To address this practical issue in scalable system design, we propose a novel model based reinforcement learning framework for personalizing the system-user interaction experience. When incrementally adapting the system to new users, we propose to use a weighted experts model for addressing data-efficiency limitations in transfer learning with deep models. A real-world dataset of navigation by blind users is used to show that the proposed approach allows for (1) more accurate long-term human behavior prediction (up to 20 seconds into the future) through improved reasoning over personal mobility characteristics, interaction with surrounding obstacles, and the current navigation goal, and (2) quick adaptation at the onset of learning, when data is limited.
A-EXP4: Online Social Policy Learning for Adaptive Robot-Pedestrian Interaction
We study self-supervised adaptation of a robot's policy for social interaction, i.e., a policy for active communication with surrounding pedestrians through audio or visual signals. Inspired by the observation that humans continually adapt their behavior when interacting under varying social context, we propose Adaptive EXP4 (A-EXP4), a novel online learning algorithm for adapting the robot-pedestrian interaction policy. To address limitations of bandit algorithms in adaptation to unseen and highly dynamic scenarios, we employ a mixture model over the policy parameter space. Specifically, a Dirichlet Process Gaussian Mixture Model (DPMM) is used to cluster the parameters of sampled policies and maintain a mixture model over the clusters, hence effectively discovering policies that are suitable to the current environmental context in an unsupervised manner. Our simulated and real-world experiments demonstrate the feasibility of A-EXP4 in accommodating interaction with different types of pedestrians while jointly minimizing social disruption through the adaptation process. While the A-EXP4 formulation is kept general for application in a variety of domains requiring continual adaptation of a robot's policy, we specifically evaluate the performance of our algorithm using a suitcase-inspired assistive robotic platform. In this concrete assistive scenario, the algorithm observes how audio signals produced by the navigational system more »
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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