Active inference body perception and action for humanoid robots

by   Guillermo Oliver, et al.

One of the biggest challenges in robotics systems is interacting under uncertainty. Unlike robots, humans learn, adapt and perceive their body as a unity when interacting with the world. We hypothesize that the nervous system counteracts sensor and motor uncertainties by unconscious processes that robustly fuse the available information for approximating their body and the world state. Being able to unite perception and action under a common principle has been sought for decades and active inference is one of the potential unification theories. In this work, we present a humanoid robot interacting with the world by means of a human brain-like inspired perception and control algorithm based on the free-energy principle. Until now, active inference was only tested in simulated examples. Their application on a real robot shows the advantages of such an algorithm for real world applications. The humanoid robot iCub was capable of performing robust reaching behaviors with both arms and active head object tracking in the visual field, despite the visual noise, the artificially introduced noise in the joint encoders (up to 40 degrees deviation), the differences between the model and the real robot and the misdetections of the hand.


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