Jump to Content

Supervision via Competition: Robot Adversaries for Learning Tasks

Lerrel Pinto
James Davidson
Abhinav Gupta
ICRA (2017)


There has been a recent paradigm shift in robotics to data-driven learning for planning and control. Due to large number of experiences required for training, most of these approaches use a self-supervised paradigm: using sensors to measure success/failure. However, in most cases, these sensors provide weak supervision at best. In this work, we propose an adversarial learning framework that pits an adversary against the robot learning the task. In an effort to defeat the adversary, the original robot learns to perform the task with more robustness leading to overall improved performance. We show that this adversarial framework forces the the robot to learn a better grasping model in order to overcome the adversary. By grasping 82% of presented novel objects compared to 68% without an adversary, we demonstrate the utility of creating adversaries. We also demonstrate via experiments that having robots in adversarial setting might be a better learning strategy as compared to having collaborative multiple robots.