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Learning Trajectory Distributions for Assisted Teleoperation and Path Planning

Marco Ewerton; Oleg Arenz; Guilherme Maeda; Dorothea Koert; Zlatko Kolev; Masaki Takahashi; Jan Peters
In: Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Vol. 6, Pages 0-10, Frontiers, 2019.


Several approaches have been proposed to assist humans in co-manipulation and teleoperation tasks given demonstrated trajectories. However, these approaches are not applicable when the demonstrations are suboptimal or when the generalization capabilities of the learned models cannot cope with the changes in the environment. Nevertheless, in real co-manipulation and teleoperation tasks, the original demonstrations will often be suboptimal and a learning system must be able to cope with new situations. This paper presents a reinforcement learning algorithm that can be applied to such problems. The proposed algorithm is initialized with a probability distribution of demonstrated trajectories and is based on the concept of relevance functions. We show in this paper how the relevance of trajectory parameters to optimization objectives is connected with the concept of Pearson correlation. First, we demonstrate the efficacy of our algorithm by addressing the assisted teleoperation of an object in a static virtual environment. Afterward, we extend this algorithm to deal with dynamic environments by utilizing Gaussian Process regression. The full framework is applied to make a point particle and a 7-DoF robot arm autonomously adapt their movements to changes in the environment as well as to assist the teleoperation of a 7-DoF robot arm in a dynamic environment.

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