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Learning New Basic Movements for Robotics

Jens Kober; Jan Peters
In: Rüdiger Dillmann; Jürgen Beyerer; Christoph Stiller; Johann Marius Zöllner; Tobias Gindele (Hrsg.). Autonome Mobile Systeme 2009 - 21. Fachgespräch. Autonome Mobile Systeme (AMS-2009), December 3-4, Karlsruhe, Germany, Pages 105-112, Informatik Aktuell, Springer, 2009.


Obtaining novel skills is one of the most important problems in robotics. Machine learning techniques may be a promising approach for automatic and autonomous acquisition of movement policies. However, this requires both an appropriate policy representation and suitable learning algorithms. Employing the most recent form of the dynamical systems motor primitives originally introduced by Ijspeert et al. [1], we show how both discrete and rhythmic tasks can be learned using a concerted approach of both imitation and reinforcement learning, and present our current best performing learning algorithms. Finally, we show that it is possible to include a start-up phase in rhythmic primitives. We apply our approach to two elementary movements, i.e., Ball-in-a-Cup and Ball-Paddling, which can be learned on a real Barrett WAM robot arm at a pace similar to human learning.

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