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Learning sequential motor tasks

Christian Daniel; Gerhard Neumann; Oliver Kroemer; Jan Peters
In: 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-2013), May 6-10, Karlsruhe, Germany, Pages 2626-2632, IEEE, 2013.


Many real robot applications require the sequential use of multiple distinct motor primitives. This requirement implies the need to learn the individual primitives as well as a strategy to select the primitives sequentially. Such hierarchical learning problems are commonly either treated as one complex monolithic problem which is hard to learn, or as separate tasks learned in isolation. However, there exists a strong link between the robots strategy and its motor primitives. Consequently, a consistent framework is needed that can learn jointly on the level of the individual primitives and the robots strategy. We present a hierarchical learning method which improves individual motor primitives and, simultaneously, learns how to combine these motor primitives sequentially to solve complex motor tasks. We evaluate our method on the game of robot hockey, which is both difficult to learn in terms of the required motor primitives as well as its strategic elements.

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