Diffusion Co-Policy for Synergistic Human-Robot Collaborative Tasks

Eley Ng, Ziang Liu, Monroe Kennedy

Modeling multimodal human behavior accurately has been a key barrier to increasing the level of interaction between human and robot, particularly for collaborative tasks. Our key insight is that the predictive accuracy of human behaviors on physical tasks is bottlenecked by the model for methods involving human behavior prediction. We present a method for training denoising diffusion probabilistic models on a dataset of collaborative human-human demonstrations and conditioning on past human partner actions to plan sequences of robot actions that synergize well with humans during test time. We demonstrate the method outperforms other state-of-art learning methods on human-robot table-carrying, a continuous state-action task, in both simulation and real settings with a human in the loop. Moreover, we qualitatively highlight compelling robot behaviors that arise during evaluations that demonstrate evidence of true human-robot collaboration, including mutual adaptation, shared task understanding, leadership switching, learned partner behaviors, and low levels of wasteful interaction forces arising from dissent. Project page coming soon.

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