A developmental framework for learning affordances

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2010
Uğur, Emre
We propose a developmental framework that enables the robot to learn affordances through interaction with the environment in an unsupervised way and to use these affordances at different levels of robot control, ranging from reactive response to planning. Inspired from Developmental Psychology, the robot’s discovery of action possibilities is realized in two sequential phases. In the first phase, the robot that initially possesses a limited number of basic actions and reflexes discovers new behavior primitives by exercising these actions and by monitoring the changes created in its initially crude perception system. In the second phase, the robot explores a more complicated environment by executing the discovered behavior primitives and using more advanced perception to learn further action possibilities. For this purpose, first, the robot discovers commonalities in action-effect experiences by finding effect categories, and then builds predictors for each behavior to map object features and behavior parameters into effect categories. After learning affordances through self-interaction and self-observation, the robot can make plans to achieve desired goals, emulate end states of demonstrated actions, monitor the plan execution and take corrective actions using the perceptual structures employed or discovered during learning. Mobile and manipulator robots were used to realize the proposed framework. Similar to infants, these robots were able to form behavior repertoires, learn affordances, and gain prediction capabilities. The learned affordances were shown to be relative to the robots, provide perceptual economy and encode general relations. Additionally, the affordance-based planning ability was verified in various tasks such as table cleaning and object transportation.

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Citation Formats
E. Uğur, “A developmental framework for learning affordances,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.