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Journal Article

Iterative Training Of Dynamic Skills Inspired By Human Coaching Techniques


Inspired by how humans learn dynamic motor skills through progressive process of coaching and practices, we introduce an intuitive and interactive framework for developing dynamic controllers. The user only needs to provide a primitive initial controller and high-level, human-readable instructions as if s/he is coaching a human trainee, while the character has the ability to interpret the abstract instructions, accumulate the knowledge from the coach, and improve its skill iteratively. We introduce “control rigs” as an intermediate layer of control module to facilitate the mapping between high-level instructions and low-level control variables. Control rigs also utilize the human coach’s knowledge to reduce the search space for control optimization. In addition, we develop a new sampling-based optimization method, Covariance Matrix Adaptation with Classification (CMA-C), to efficiently compute control rig parameters. Based on the observation of human ability to “learn from failure”, CMA-C utilizes the failed simulation trials to approximate an infeasible region in the space of control rig parameters, resulting a faster convergence for the CMA optimization. We demonstrate the design process of complex dynamic controllers using our framework, including precision jumps, turnaround jumps, monkey vaults, drop-and-rolls, and wall-backflips.

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Sehoon Ha
C. Karen Liu
Journal Name
ACM Transactions on Graphics, 2014
Publication Date
March, 2014