Robot programming by demonstration with interactive action visualizations

S. Alexandrova, M. Cakmak, K. Hsiao, and L. Takayama, “Robot programming by demonstration with interactive action visualizations,” in Robotics: Science and Systems (R:SS), 2014, pp. 48–56, doi: 10.15607/RSS.2014.X.048.


Existing approaches to Robot Programming by Demonstration (PbD) require multiple demonstrations to capture task information that lets robots generalize to unseen situations. However, providing these demonstrations is cumbersome for end-users. In addition, users who are not familiar with the system often fail to demonstrate sufficiently varied demonstrations. We propose an alternative PbD framework that involves demonstrating the task once and then providing additional task information explicitly, through interactions with a visualization of the action. We present a simple action representation that supports this framework and describe a system that implements the framework on a two-armed mobile manipulator. We demonstrate the power of this system by evaluating it on a diverse task benchmark that involves manipulation of everyday objects. We then demonstrate that the system is easy to learn and use for novice users through a user study in which participants program a subset of the benchmark. We characterize the limitations of our system in task generalization and end-user interactions and present extensions that could address some of the limitations.

BibTeX Entry

  title = {Robot programming by demonstration with interactive action visualizations},
  author = {Alexandrova, Sonya and Cakmak, Maya and Hsiao, Kaijen and Takayama, Leila},
  year = {2014},
  booktitle = {Robotics: Science and Systems (R:SS)},
  pages = {48--56},
  doi = {10.15607/RSS.2014.X.048},
  type = {conference},
  video = {},
  url = {}