Machine Learning for Robotics
Pieter Abbeel, University of California, Berkeley

Robots are typically far less capable in autonomous mode than in tele-operated mode. The few exceptions tend to stem from long days (and more often weeks, or even years) of expert engineering for a specific robot and its operating environment. Current control methodology is quite slow and labor intensive. I believe advances in machine learning have the potential to revolutionize robotics. In this talk, I will present new machine learning techniques we have developed that are tailored to robotics. I will describe in depth "Apprenticeship learning," a new approach to high-performance robot control based on learning for control from ensembles of expert human demonstrations. Our initial work in apprenticeship learning has enabled the most advanced helicopter aerobatics to-date, including maneuvers such as chaos, tic-tocs, and auto-rotation landings which only exceptional expert human pilots can fly. Our most recent work in apprenticeship learning is providing traction on learning to perform challenging robotic manipulation tasks, such as knot-tying. I will also briefly highlight three other machine learning for robotics developments: Inverse reinforcement learning and its application to quadruped locomotion, Safe exploration in reinforcement learning which enables robots to learn on their own, and Learning for perception with application to robotic laundry.

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