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Learning motor skills from partially observed movements executed at different speeds

Marco Ewerton; Guilherme Maeda; Jan Peters; Gerhard Neumann
In: 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-2015), September 28 - October 2, Hamburg, Germany, Pages 456-463, IEEE, 2015.


Learning motor skills from multiple demonstrations presents a number of challenges. One of those challenges is the occurrence of occlusions and lack of sensor coverage, which may corrupt part of the recorded data. Another issue is the variability in speed of execution of the demonstrations, which may require a way of finding the correspondence between the time steps of the different demonstrations. In this paper, an approach to learn motor skills is proposed that accounts both for spatial and temporal variability of movements. This approach, based on an Expectation-Maximization algorithm to learn Probabilistic Movement Primitives, also allows for learning motor skills from partially observed demonstrations, which may result from occlusion or lack of sensor coverage. An application of the algorithm proposed in this work lies in the field of Human-Robot Interaction when the robot has to react to human movements executed at different speeds. Experiments in which a robotic arm receives a cup handed over by a human illustrate this application. The capabilities of the algorithm in learning and predicting movements are also evaluated in experiments using a data set of letters and a data set of golf putting movements.

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