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Award Abstract #1317775

NRI: Small: Collaborative Research: Learning from Demonstration for Cloud Robotics

NSF Org: IIS
Div Of Information & Intelligent Systems
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Initial Amendment Date: September 6, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: April 15, 2014
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Award Number: 1317775
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Reid Simmons
IIS Div Of Information & Intelligent Systems
CSE Direct For Computer & Info Scie & Enginr
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Start Date: October 1, 2013
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End Date: September 30, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $433,351.00
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Investigator(s): Sonia Chernova chernova@cc.gatech.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 INSTITUTE RD
WORCESTER, MA 01609-2247 (508)831-5000
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NSF Program(s): National Robotics Initiative
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Program Reference Code(s): 7923, 8086, 9251
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Program Element Code(s): 8013

ABSTRACT

The proposed work seeks to leverage cloud computing to enable robots to efficiently learn from remote human domain experts - "Cloud Learning from Demonstration." Building on RobotsFor.Me, a remote robotics research lab, this research will unite Learning from Demonstration (LfD) and Cloud Robotics to enable anyone with Internet access to teach a robot household tasks. The value of this work stems from three aspects. First is the remote system that can learn task models from a series of remote demonstrations from a single user, focusing on learning high-level tasks as opposed to low-level motor skills. The second is the extension of learning from demonstration to multiple teachers. This represents an important relaxation of a limiting assumption to focus on evaluating teacher strengths and effectively handling distinct task solutions. Finally, transparency mechanisms to allow a remote user to develop a correct mental model about the robot?s learning process.

The long term goal of this research is to one day make personal robots accessible to everyday people. The interactive learning framework based on RobotsFor.Me provides unique opportunities for education and outreach. Thomaz and Chernova will outreach to K-12 teachers and students by creating an education portal surrounding RobotsFor.Me containing hands-on workshop curricula. This material will be integrated with the WPI Frontiers program for middle school students, and the GT ePDN professional education network for teachers. A key impact on students at GT and WPI will be direct involvement in this research agenda, and integration with AI, robotics and HRI courses. Chernova is the Diversity Coordinator in the Robotics Engineering Program, and faculty advisor for Women In Robotics Engineering and Women in Technology student groups which will enable braod exposure. Thomaz mentors the RoboWomen graduate women?s group. Software components will also be made available as open source and the PIs have a collaboration plan in place with researchers at Willow Garage, and through student internships will transfer technology to their labs.

 

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