Learning for Control from Multiple Demonstrations

We consider the problem of learning to follow a desired trajectory when given a small number of demonstrations from a sub-optimal expert. We present an algorithm that (i) extracts the—initially unknown—desired trajectory from the sub-optimal expert’s demonstrations and (ii) learns a local model suitable for control along the learned trajectory. We apply our algorithm to the problem of autonomous helicopter flight. In all cases, the autonomous helicopter’s performance exceeds that of our expert helicopter pilot’s demonstrations. Even stronger, our results significantly extend the state-of-the-art in autonomous helicopter aerobatics. In particular, our results include the first autonomous tic-tocs, loops and hurricane, vastly superior performance on previously performed aerobatic maneuvers (such as in-place flips and rolls), and a complete airshow, which requires autonomous transitions between these and various other maneuvers. Authors: Adam Coates, Pieter Abbeel, Andrew Y. Ng (2008)
AUTHORED BY
Adam Coates
Pieter Abbeel
Andrew Y. Ng

Abstract

We consider the problem of learning to follow a desired trajectory when given a small number of demonstrations from a sub-optimal expert. We present an algorithm that (i) extracts the—initially unknown—desired trajectory from the sub-optimal expert’s demonstrations and (ii) learns a local model suitable for control along the learned trajectory. We apply our algorithm to the problem of autonomous helicopter flight. In all cases, the autonomous helicopter’s performance exceeds that of our expert helicopter pilot’s demonstrations. Even stronger, our results significantly extend the state-of-the-art in autonomous helicopter aerobatics. In particular, our results include the first autonomous tic-tocs, loops and hurricane, vastly superior performance on previously performed aerobatic maneuvers (such as in-place flips and rolls), and a complete airshow, which requires autonomous transitions between these and various other maneuvers.

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