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RESEARCH TOPICS
Human-Robot Interaction
Machine Learning with Application to Robotics
Fast Adaptive Control
Dexterous Manipulation and Grasping
Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Modeling

Machine learning with applications to robotics

We look at tasks that require a sequence of actions that range from single arm motions, fine manipulation and coordinated behaviors. We use knowledge acquired by observing humans performing a task or by directly guiding the robot through kinesthetic demonstrations.

We develop approaches and applications that:
  • segment a task in a sequence of meaningful actions with minimal human interference
  • extract task constraints that are key to successful execution of the task
  • make it easier to teach robots new tasks, focusing on tasks that require the skill of response to physical perturbations
  • develop an intuitive way to provide corrections and refine teaching during task execution



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    Related publications

    I. Batzianoulis, S. El Khoury, E. Pirondini, M. Coscia and S. Micera et al. EMG-based decoding of grasp gestures in reaching-to-grasping motions, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 91, p. 59-70, 2017.
    H. Yin, F. S. Melo, A. Billard and A. Paiva. Associate Latent Encodings in Learning from Demonstrations. The Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, San Francisco, California, USA, 2017.
    N. Figueroa, A. L. P. Ureche and A. Billard. Learning Complex Sequential Tasks from Demonstration: A Pizza Dough Rolling Case Study. 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND, 2016.
    G. P. L. De Chambrier, A. Billard (Dir.). Learning Search Strategies from Human Demonstrations. EPFL, Lausanne, 2016.
    N. Figueroa, A. L. P. Ureche and A. Billard. Learning Complex Sequential Tasks from Demonstration: A Pizza Dough Rolling Case Study. 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Christchurch, New Zealand, ACMIEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 2016.
    B. Huang, M. Li, R. L. De Souza, J. J. Bryson and A. Billard. A modular approach to learning manipulation strategies from human demonstration, in Autonomous Robots, vol. 40, num. 5, p. 903-927, 2016.
    H. Yin, P. Alves-Oliveira, F. S. Melo, A. Billard and A. Paiva. Synthesizing Robotic Handwriting Motion by Learning from Human Demonstrations. 25th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, New York City, New York, USA, 2016.
    M. Li, K. Hang, D. Kragic and A. Billard. Dexterous grasping under shape uncertainty, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 75, p. 352-364, 2016.
    H. Yin, A. Billard and A. Paiva. Bidirectional Learning of Handwriting Skill in Human-Robot Interaction. 10th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Portland, Oregon, USA, 2015.
    L. Ureche, K. Umezawa, Y. Nakamura and A. Billard. Task Parameterization Using Continuous Constraints Extracted From Human Demonstrations, in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 31, num. 6, p. 1458 - 1471, 2015.
    R. De Souza, S. El-Khoury, J. Santos-Victor and A. Billard. Recognizing the grasp intention from human demonstration, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 74, p. 108-121, 2015.
    B. Huang, M. Li, R. L. De Souza, J. J. Bryson and A. Billard. A Modular Approach to Learning Manipulation Strategies from Human Demonstration, in Autonomous Robots, p. 1-25, 2015.
    L. Lukic, A. Billard and J. Santos-Victor. Motor-Primed Visual Attention for Humanoid Robots, in Ieee Transactions On Autonomous Mental Development, vol. 7, num. 2, p. 76-91, 2015.
    K. Kronander and A. Billard. Learning Compliant Manipulation through Kinesthetic and Tactile Human-Robot Interaction, in Ieee Transactions On Haptics, vol. 7, num. 3, p. 367-380, 2014.
    G. P. L. De Chambrier and A. Billard. Learning search polices from humans in a partially observable context, in Robotics and Biomimetics, vol. 1, num. 1, 2014.
    H. Yin, A. Paiva and A. Billard. Learning Cost Function and Trajectory for Robotic Writing Motion. IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, Madrid, Spain, 2014.
    S. M. Khansari-Zadeh and A. Billard. Learning control Lyapunov function to ensure stability of dynamical system-based robot reaching motions, in Robotics And Autonomous Systems, vol. 62, num. 6, p. 752-765, 2014.
    S. Kim, A. Shukla and A. Billard. Catching Objects in Flight, in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 30, num. 5, 2014.
    M. Li, H. Yin, K. Tahara and A. Billard. Learning Object-level Impedance Control for Robust Grasping and Dexterous Manipulation. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), HongKong, China, 2014.
    S. Kim, A. Billard (Dir.). Rapid and reactive robot control framework for catching objects in flight. EPFL, Lausanne, 2014.
    D. Chambrier, G. P. Luc and A. Billard. Learning search behaviour from humans. Robotics and Biomimetics, Shenzhen, China, 2013.
    A. L. Pais, B. D. Argall and A. G. Billard. Assessing Interaction Dynamics in the Context of Robot Programming by Demonstration, in International Journal of Social Robotics, vol. 5, num. 4, p. 477-490, 2013.
    A. Rai, G. de Chambrier and A. Billard. Learning from Failed Demonstrations in Unreliable Systems. Humanoids 2013, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2013.
    A. K. Tanwani and A. Billard. Transfer in Inverse Reinforcement Learning for Multiple Strategies. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Tokyo, Japan, 2013.
    B. Huang, S. El Khoury, M. Li, J. J. Bryson and A. Billard. Learning a Real Time Grasping Strategy. 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2013.
    S. Kim and A. Billard. Estimating the non-linear dynamics of free-flying objects, in Robotics And Autonomous Systems, vol. 60, num. 9, p. 1108-1122, 2012.
    L. Lukic, J. Santos-Victor and A. Billard. Learning Coupled Dynamical Systems from Human Demonstration for Robotic Eye-Arm-Hand Coordination. IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, Osaka, Japan, 2012.
    S. M. Khansari-Zadeh, K. Kronander and A. Billard. Learning to play minigolf: A dynamical system-based approach, in Advanced Robotics, vol. 26, num. 17, p. 1967-1993, 2012.
    K. J. A. Kronander and A. Billard. Online Learning of Varying Stiffness Through Physical Human-Robot Interaction. 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, 2012.
    E. Sauser, B. D. Argall, G. Metta and A. Billard. Iterative Learning of Grasp Adaptation through Human Corrections, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 60, num. 1, p. 55–71, 2012.
    S. M. Khansari-Zadeh and A. Billard. Learning to Play Mini-Golf from Human Demonstration using Autonomous Dynamical Systems. International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), Seattle, USA, 2011.
    K. Kronander, S. M. Khansari-Zadeh and A. Billard. Learning to Control Planar Hitting Motions in a Monigolf-like Task. The 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2011), San Francisco, CA, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2011.
    S. M. Khansari-Zadeh and A. Billard. Learning Stable Non-Linear Dynamical Systems with Gaussian Mixture Models, in IEEE Transaction on Robotics, vol. 27, num. 5, p. 943-957, 2011.
    K. J. A. Kronander, S. M. Khansari-Zadeh and A. Billard (Dirs.). Learning to Control Planar Hitting Motions of a Robotic Arm in a Mini-Golf-like Task. , 2010.
    F. D'halluin, A. de Rengervé, M. Lagarde, P. Gaussier and A. Billard et al. A state-action neural network supervising navigation and manipulation behaviors for complex task reproduction . Tenth International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics, Örenäs Slott, Sweden, 2010.
    A. de Rengervé, F. D'halluin, P. Gaussienr and A. Billard. A study of two complementary encoding strategies based on learning by demonstration for autonomous navigation task . Tenth International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics, Örenäs Slott, Sweden, 2010.
    F. D'halluin, A. de Rengervé, M. Lagarde, P. Gaussier and A. Billard et al. A state-action neural network supervising navigation and manipulation behaviors for complex task reproduction . Tenth International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics, Örenäs Slott, Sweden, 2010.
    S. Kim, E. Gribovskaya and A. Billard. Learning Motion Dynamics to Catch a Moving Object. 10th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, Nashville, TN, USA, 2010.
    E. Gribovskaya, S. M. Khansari-Zadeh and A. Billard. Learning Nonlinear Multivariate Dynamics of Motion in Robotic Manipulators [accepted], in International Journal of Robotics Research, 2010.
    S. Calinon, F. D'halluin, E. Sauser, D. Caldwell and A. Billard. Learning and reproduction of gestures by imitation: An approach based on Hidden Markov Model and Gaussian Mixture Regression, in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, vol. 17, num. 2, p. 44--54, 2010.
    S. Calinon, E. L. Sauser, A. G. Billard and D. G. Caldwell. Evaluation of a probabilistic approach to learn and reproduce gestures by imitation. IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Anchorage, Alaska, USA, 2010.
    S. Calinon, E. L. Sauser, F. D'halluin, A. G. Billard and D. G. Caldwell. A learning by imitation model handling multiple constraints and motion alternatives. International Conference on Cognitive Systems (CogSys), Zuerich, Switzerland, 2010.
    A. Arfire, S. M. Khansari-Zadeh and A. Billard (Dirs.). Teaching of an Acrobatic Maneuver to an Aerial Robot. , 2009.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Statistical Learning by Imitation of Competing Constraints in Joint Space and Task Space, in Advanced Robotics, vol. 23, num. 15, p. 2059-2076, 2009.
    S. Calinon, F. D'halluin, D. G. Caldwell and A. Billard. Handling of multiple constraints and motion alternatives in a robot programming by demonstration framework. 9th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, Paris, 2009.
    A. Weiss, J. Igelsboeck, S. Calinon, A. Billard and M. Tscheligi. Teaching a Humanoid: A User Study on Learning by Demonstration with HOAP-3. IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man), Toyama, Japan, 2009.
    S. Calinon, P. Evrard, E. Gribovskaya, A. Billard and A. Kheddar. Learning collaborative manipulation tasks by demonstration using a haptic interface. International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR), Munich, Germany, 2009.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. A Probabilistic Programming by Demonstration Framework Handling Constraints in Joint Space and Task Space. IEEE/RSJ Intl Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Nice, France, 2008.
    M. Hersch, E. Sauser and A. Billard. Online learning of the body schema, in International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, vol. 5, num. 2, p. 161–181, 2008.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. A framework integrating statistical and social cues to teach a humanoid robot new skills. IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Workshop on Social Interaction with Intelligent Indoor Robots, Pasadena, CA, USA, 2008.
    E. Gribovskaya and A. Billard. Combining Dynamical Systems Control and Programming by Demonstration for Teaching Discrete Bimanual Coordination Tasks to a Humanoid Robot. IEEE/ASM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2008.
    A. Billard, S. Calinon, R. Dillmann and S. Schaal. Survey: Robot Programming by Demonstration, in Handbook of Robotics, vol. chapter 59, 2008.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Active teaching in robot Programming by Demonstration. 16th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Cheju Isl, SOUTH KOREA, 2007.
    E. Gribovskaya and A. Billard. A Model of Acquisition of Discrete Bimanual Coordination Skills for a Humanoid Robot. International Conference in Epigenetic Robotics, 2007.
    F. Guenter and A. Billard. Using Reinforcement Learning to Adapt an Imitation Task. IROS'2007, 2007.
    F. Guenter, M. Hersch, S. Calinon and A. Billard. Reinforcement Learning for Imitating Constrained Reaching Movements, in RSJ Advanced Robotics, Special Issue on Imitative Robots, vol. 21, num. 13, p. 1521-1544, 2007.
    S. Calinon, A. Billard (Dir.). Continuous extraction of task constraints in a robot programming by demonstration framework. EPFL, Lausanne, 2007.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Learning of Gestures by Imitation in a Humanoid Robot, in Imitation and Social Learning in Robots, Humans and Animals: Behavioural, Social and Communicative Dimensions, p. 153-177, 2007.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Incremental Learning of Gestures by Imitation in a Humanoid Robot. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Arlington, VA, USA, 2007.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. What is the Teacher's Role in Robot Programming by Demonstration? - Toward Benchmarks for Improved Learning, in Interaction Studies. Special Issue on Psychological Benchmarks in Human-Robot Interaction, vol. 8, num. 3, 2007.
    S. Calinon, F. Guenter and A. Billard. On Learning, Representing and Generalizing a Task in a Humanoid Robot, in IEEE transactions on systems, man and cybernetics, Part B. Special issue on robot learning by observation, demonstration and imitation, vol. 37, num. 2, p. 286-298, 2007.
    B. Petreska and A. Billard. A Neurocomputational Model of Impaired Imitation. first Workshop for Women in Machine Learning (WiML 2006), San Diego (USA), 2006.
    Y. Demiris and A. Billard. Special Issue on Robot Learning by Observation, Demonstration and Imitation, Part B. IEEE Transaction on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 2006.
    A. Billard, S. Calinon and F. Guenter. Discriminative and Adaptive Imitation in Uni-Manual and Bi-Manual Tasks, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 54, num. 5, p. 370-384, 2006.
    M. Hersch, F. Guenter, S. Calinon and A. Billard. Learning Dynamical System Modulation for Constrained Reaching Tasks. IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), Genova, Italy, 2006.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Teaching a Humanoid Robot to Recognize and Reproduce Social Cues. IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), Hatfield, UK, 2006.
    S. Calinon, F. Guenter and A. Billard. On Learning the Statistical Representation of a Task and Generalizing it to Various Contexts. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2006.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Recognition and Reproduction of Gestures using a Probabilistic Framework combining PCA, ICA and HMM. 22nd International Conference on Machine Learning, Bonn, Germany, 2005.
    S. Calinon, F. Guenter and A. Billard. Goal-Directed Imitation in a Humanoid Robot. International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Barcelona, Spain, 2005.
    E. Sauser and A. Billard. View Sensitive Cells as a Neural Basis for the Representation of Others in a Self-Centered Frame of Reference. Third International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts, Hatfield, UK, 2005.
    E. Sauser and A. Billard. Three dimensional frames of reference transformations using gain modulated populations of neurons. 12th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, Bruges (Belgium), 2004.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Stochastic Gesture Production and Recognition Model for a Humanoid Robot. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Sendai, Japan, 2004.
    A. Billard, Y. Epars, S. Calinon, G. Cheng and S. Schaal. Discovering Optimal Imitation Strategies, in robotics and autonomous systems, Special Issue: Robot Learning from Demonstration, vol. 47, num. 2-3, p. 69-77, 2004.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Gesture Recognition and Reproduction for a Humanoid Robot using Hidden Markov Models. AMI/PASCAL/IM2/M4 Workshop on Multimodal Interaction and Related Machine Learning Algorithms, 2004.
    A. Billard, Y. Epars, S. Schaal and G. Cheng. Discovering Imitation Strategies through Categorization of Multi-Dimensional Data. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems., 2003.
    S. Schaal, A. J. Ijspeert and A. Billard. Computational approaches to motor learning by imitation, in Philosophical transaction of the Royal Society of London, series B, vol. 358, num. 1431, p. 537-547, 2003.
    A. Billard and M. Arbib. Imitation, in Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks, p. 566-569, 2002.
    A. Billard, M. Arbib, M. Stamenov and V. Gallese. Mirror neurons, and the neural basis for learning by imitation: Computational modeling, in Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language, p. 343-353, Advances in Consciousness Research 42, 2002.
    A. Billard and S. Schaal. Computational elements of robot learning by imitation. 980th American Mathematical Society, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 2002.
    A. Billard and M. Mataric. Learning human arm movements by imitation: Evaluation of a biologically-inspired connectionist architecture, in Robotics & Autonomous Systems, vol. 941, p. 1-16, 2001.
    A. Billard and S. Schaal. Robust learning of arm trajectories through human demonstration. International Conference on Intelligent and Robotics Systems, Hawaii, 2001.