Self-organized Learning from Synthetic and Real-World Data for a Humanoid Exercise Robot

Frontiers in Robotics and AI Volume 9, doi: 10.3389/frobt.2022.669719 - Oct 2022 Open Access
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We propose a neural learning approach for a humanoid exercise robot that can automatically analyze and correct physical exercises. Such an exercise robot should be able to train many different human partners over time and thus requires the ability for lifelong learning. To this end, we develop a modified Grow-When-Required (GWR) network with recurrent connections, episodic memory and a novel subnode mechanism for learning spatiotemporal relationships of body movements and poses. Once an exercise is successfully demonstrated, the information of pose and movement per frame is stored in the Subnode-GWR network. For every frame, the current pose and motion pair is compared against a predicted output of the GWR, allowing for feedback not only on the pose but also on the velocity of the motion. Since both the pose and motion depend on a user’s body morphology, the exercise demonstration by one individual cannot easily be used as a reference for further users. We allow the GWR to grow online with each further demonstration. The subnode mechanism ensures that exercise information for individual humans is stored and retrieved correctly and is not forgotten over time. In the application scenario, a physical exercise is performed in the presence of an expert like a physiotherapist and then used as a reference for a humanoid robot like Pepper to give feedback on further executions of the same exercise. For evaluation, we developed a new synthetic exercise dataset with virtual avatars. We also test our method on real-world data recorded in an office scenario. Overall, we claim that our novel GWR-based architecture can use a learned exercise reference for different body variations through incremental online learning while preventing catastrophic forgetting, enabling an engaging long-term human-robot experience with a humanoid robot.


 	 author =  {Duczek, Nicolas and Kerzel, Matthias and Allgeuer, Philipp and Wermter, Stefan},  
 	 title = {Self-organized Learning from Synthetic and Real-World Data for a Humanoid Exercise Robot}, 
 	 journal = {Frontiers in Robotics and AI},
 	 number = {},
 	 volume = {9},
 	 pages = {},
 	 year = {2022},
 	 month = {Oct},
 	 publisher = {Frontiers Media S.A.},
 	 doi = {10.3389/frobt.2022.669719},