Learning Human Behaviors for Robot-Assisted Dressing

Representative Image

Alexander Clegg, Wenhao Yu, Jie Tan, Charlie C. Kemp, Greg Turk, C. Karen Liu


We investigate robotic assistants for dressing that can anticipate the motion of the person who is being helped. To this end, we use reinforcement learning to create models of human behavior during assistance with dressing. To explore this kind of interaction, we assume that the robot presents an open sleeve of a hospital gown to a person, and that the person moves their arm into the sleeve. The controller that models the person's behavior is given the position of the end of the sleeve and information about contact between the person's hand and the fabric of the gown. We simulate this system with a human torso model that has realistic joint ranges, a simple robot gripper, and a physics-based cloth model for the gown. Through reinforcement learning (specifically the TRPO algorithm) the system creates a model of human behavior that is capable of placing the arm into the sleeve. We aim to model what humans are capable of doing, rather than what they typically do. We demonstrate successfully trained human behaviors for three robot-assisted dressing strategies: 1) the robot gripper holds the sleeve motionless, 2) the gripper moves the sleeve linearly towards the person from the front, and 3) the gripper moves the sleeve linearly from the side.


Paper: ArXiv