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A learning-based shared control architecture for interactive task execution

Firas Abi-Farraj; Takayuki Osa; Nicolo Pedemonte; Jan Peters; Gerhard Neumann; Paolo Robuffo Giordano
In: 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-2017), May 29 - June 3, Singapore, Pages 329-335, IEEE, 2017.


Shared control is a key technology for various robotic applications in which a robotic system and a human operator are meant to collaborate efficiently. In order to achieve efficient task execution in shared control, it is essential to predict the desired behavior for a given situation or context in order to simplify the control task for the human operator. This prediction is obtained by exploiting Learning from Demonstration (LfD), which is a popular approach for transferring human skills to robots. We encode the demonstrated behavior as trajectory distributions and generalize the learned distributions to new situations. The goal of this paper is to present a shared control framework that uses learned expert distributions to gain more autonomy. Our approach controls the balance between the controller's autonomy and the human preference based on the distributions of the demonstrated trajectories. Moreover, the learned distributions are autonomously refined from collaborative task executions, resulting in a master-slave system with increasing autonomy that requires less user input with an increasing number of task executions. We experimentally validated that our shared control approach enables efficient task executions. Moreover, the conducted experiments demonstrated that the developed system improves its performances through interactive task executions with our shared control.

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