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Simple Sensor Intentions for Exploration


Tim Hertweck, Martin Riedmiller, Michael Bloesch, Jost Tobias Springenberg, Noah Siegel, Markus Wulfmeier, Roland Hafner, Nicolas Heess

A moving image of four blocks. In the first one, a green box is picked up by a grabber. The next block is the same but with a black background. In the third and fourth blocks, it shows a moving green bar chart; on the x and y axis respectively. The image then zooms out to show the same four part situation in different colours.

By simple color-masking, high-level image statistics can be derived. Rewarding an agent for deliberately changing these statistics, leads to diverse exploration and interesting behavior like, for example, grasping or lifting objects.

Example Skills

Learned from scratch and from pixels and proprioception only. The external rewards are sparse and Simple Sensor Intentions (SSIs) are used as the only auxiliary tasks.

Two videos side by side. On the left, a robot with an orange arm grabs multiple changing objects from a flat, grey surface. On the right, the same robot catches a yellow ball in a large cup.