Learning to Sequence Robot Behaviors for Visual Navigation [article]

Hadi Salman, Puneet Singhal, Tanmay Shankar, Peng Yin, Ali Salman, William Paivine, Guillaume Sartoretti, Matthew Travers, Howie Choset
2018 arXiv   pre-print
Recent literature in the robotics community has focused on learning robot behaviors that abstract out lower-level details of robot control. To fully leverage the efficacy of such behaviors, it is necessary to select and sequence them to achieve a given task. In this paper, we present an approach to both learn and sequence robot behaviors, applied to the problem of visual navigation of mobile robots. We construct a layered representation of control policies composed of low- level behaviors and a
more » ... meta-level policy. The low-level behaviors enable the robot to locomote in a particular environment while avoiding obstacles, and the meta-level policy actively selects the low-level behavior most appropriate for the current situation based purely on visual feedback. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on three simulated robot navigation tasks: a legged hexapod robot which must successfully traverse varying terrain, a wheeled robot which must navigate a maze-like course while avoiding obstacles, and finally a wheeled robot navigating in the presence of dynamic obstacles. We show that by learning control policies in a layered manner, we gain the ability to successfully traverse new compound environments composed of distinct sub-environments, and outperform both the low-level behaviors in their respective sub-environments, as well as a hand-crafted selection of low-level policies on these compound environments.
arXiv:1803.01446v3 fatcat:73lmhymgs5hetmw63twko7nb4m