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Creators/Authors contains: "Atkeson, Christopher G"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. In this work, we investigate a form of dynamic contact-rich locomotion in which a robot pushes off from obstacles in order to move through its environment. We present a reflex-based approach that switches between optimized hand- crafted reflex controllers and produces smooth and predictable motions. In contrast to previous work, our approach does not rely on periodic movements, complex models of robot and contact dynamics, or extensive hand tuning. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach and evaluate its performance compared to a standard model-free RL algorithm. We identify continuous clusters of similar behaviours, which allows us to successfully transfer different push-off motions directly from simulation to a physical robot without further retraining.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Modeling human motor control and predicting how humans will move in novel environments is a grand scientific challenge. Researchers in the fields of biomechanics and motor control have proposed and evaluated motor control models via neuromechanical simulations, which produce physically correct motions of a musculoskeletal model. Typically, researchers have developed control models that encode physiologically plausible motor control hypotheses and compared the resulting simulation behaviors to measurable human motion data. While such plausible control models were able to simulate and explain many basic locomotion behaviors (e.g. walking, running, and climbing stairs), modeling higher layer controls (e.g. processing environment cues, planning long-term motion strategies, and coordinating basic motor skills to navigate in dynamic and complex environments) remains a challenge. Recent advances in deep reinforcement learning lay a foundation for modeling these complex control processes and controlling a diverse repertoire of human movement; however, reinforcement learning has been rarely applied in neuromechanical simulation to model human control. In this paper, we review the current state of neuromechanical simulations, along with the fundamentals of reinforcement learning, as it applies to human locomotion. We also present a scientific competition and accompanying software platform, which we have organized to accelerate the use of reinforcementmore »learning in neuromechanical simulations. This “Learn to Move” competition was an official competition at the NeurIPS conference from 2017 to 2019 and attracted over 1300 teams from around the world. Top teams adapted state-of-the-art deep reinforcement learning techniques and produced motions, such as quick turning and walk-to-stand transitions, that have not been demonstrated before in neuromechanical simulations without utilizing reference motion data. We close with a discussion of future opportunities at the intersection of human movement simulation and reinforcement learning and our plans to extend the Learn to Move competition to further facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in modeling human motor control for biomechanics and rehabilitation research« less
  4. We propose a visually-grounded library of behaviors approach for learning to manipulate diverse objects across varying initial and goal configurations and camera placements. Our key innovation is to disentangle the standard image-to-action mapping into two separate modules that use different types of perceptual input:(1) a behavior selector which conditions on intrinsic and semantically-rich object appearance features to select the behaviors that can successfully perform the desired tasks on the object in hand, and (2) a library of behaviors each of which conditions on extrinsic and abstract object properties, such as object location and pose, to predict actions to execute over time. The selector uses a semantically-rich 3D object feature representation extracted from images in a differential end-to-end manner. This representation is trained to be view-invariant and affordance-aware using self-supervision, by predicting varying views and successful object manipulations. We test our framework on pushing and grasping diverse objects in simulation as well as transporting rigid, granular, and liquid food ingredients in a real robot setup. Our model outperforms image-to-action mappings that do not factorize static and dynamic object properties. We further ablate the contribution of the selector's input and show the benefits of the proposed view-predictive, affordance-aware 3D visual object representations.
  5. This paper introduces a vision-based tactile sensor FingerVision, and explores its usefulness in tactile behaviors. FingerVision consists of a transparent elastic skin marked with dots, and a camera that is easy to fabricate, low cost, and physically robust. Unlike other vision-based tactile sensors, the complete transparency of the FingerVision skin provides multimodal sensation. The modalities sensed by FingerVision include distributions of force and slip, and object information such as distance, location, pose, size, shape, and texture. The slip detection is very sensitive since it is obtained by computer vision directly applied to the output from the FingerVision camera. It provides high-resolution slip detection, which does not depend on the contact force, i.e., it can sense slip of a lightweight object that generates negligible contact force. The tactile behaviors explored in this paper include manipulations that utilize this feature. For example, we demonstrate that grasp adaptation with FingerVision can grasp origami, and other deformable and fragile objects such as vegetables, fruits, and raw eggs.