Can the Vector robot be trained to blow objects into a receptacle?
Reinforcement Learning (RL) in action
We are beginning to see the use of the Vector robot in a lot of interesting research. Recently, researchers from Princeton University and Columbia University were able to demonstrate how Vector can be trained to successfully blow particles on a table into a bin. This research is very interesting not only for its content, but also visual demonstrations and open-source code. I strongly recommend those interested to go through the material.
How was this done?
Vector was trained using a technique called Reinforcement Learning (RL). RL is a very fascinating branch of Machine Learning, in which agents are trained to take actions with a goal to maximize the possibility of future rewards. In this specific case, the action is either: (i) Vector moving in some direction, or (ii) Turning and blowing. The reward is a score which consists of: (i) The number o…