What Matters in Language Conditioned Robotic Imitation Learning [article]

Oier Mees, Lukas Hermann, Wolfram Burgard
2022 arXiv   pre-print
A long-standing goal in robotics is to build robots that can perform a wide range of daily tasks from perceptions obtained with their onboard sensors and specified only via natural language. While recently substantial advances have been achieved in language-driven robotics by leveraging end-to-end learning from pixels, there is no clear and well-understood process for making various design choices due to the underlying variation in setups. In this paper, we conduct an extensive study of the
more » ... critical challenges in learning language conditioned policies from offline free-form imitation datasets. We further identify architectural and algorithmic techniques that improve performance, such as a hierarchical decomposition of the robot control learning, a multimodal transformer encoder, discrete latent plans and a self-supervised contrastive loss that aligns video and language representations. By combining the results of our investigation with our improved model components, we are able to present a novel approach that significantly outperforms the state of the art on the challenging language conditioned long-horizon robot manipulation CALVIN benchmark. We have open-sourced our implementation to facilitate future research in learning to perform many complex manipulation skills in a row specified with natural language. Codebase and trained models available at http://hulc.cs.uni-freiburg.de
arXiv:2204.06252v1 fatcat:xnq35sp7xvelpfubinjpraec7a