Graduate Research Talk: Creative Problem Solving by Robot Using Action Primitive Discovery

October 22, 2019
3:00 PM
Halligan 102
Speaker: Evana Gizzi, Tufts University
Host: Jivko Sinapov


Humans and many other species have the remarkable ability to innovate and creatively problem solve on-the- fly. Inspired by these abilities, we propose a framework for action discovery in problem solving scenarios similar to puzzle-boxes used to evaluate intelligence in animal species. The proposed framework assumes that the robot starts with a knowledge base including predicates and actions, which, however, are insufficient to solve the problem faced by the robot. We describe a method for discovering new action primitives through object exploration and action segmentation, which is able to iteratively update the robot’s knowledge base on-the-fly until the solution becomes feasible. We implemented and evaluated the framework using a 3D physics-based simulated object retrieval task for the Baxter bi-manual robot. Results suggest that action segmentation is one viable path towards enabling autonomous agents to adapt on-the-fly and in short amounts of time to new situations that were unforeseen by their programmers and engineers.