Decoupling Behavior, Perception, and Control for Autonomous Learning of Affordances
Rehg, James M.
Bobick, Aaron F.
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A novel behavior representation is introduced that permits a robot to systematically explore the best methods by which to successfully execute an affordance-based behavior for a particular object. The approach decomposes affordance-based behaviors into three components. We first define controllers that specify how to achieve a desired change in object state through changes in the agent’s state. For each controller we develop at least one behavior primitive that determines how the controller outputs translate to specific movements of the agent. Additionally we provide multiple perceptual proxies that define the representation of the object that is to be computed as input to the controller during execution. A variety of proxies may be selected for a given controller and a given proxy may provide input for more than one controller. When developing an appropriate affordance-based behavior strategy for a given object, the robot can systematically vary these elements as well as note the impact of additional task variables such as location in the workspace. We demonstrate the approach using a PR2 robot that explores different combinations of controller, behavior primitive, and proxy to perform a push or pull positioning behavior on a selection of household objects, learning which methods best work for each object.