Yell At Your Robot: Improving On-the-Fly from Language Corrections


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Hierarchical policies that combine language and low-level control have been shown to perform impressively long-horizon robotic tasks, by leveraging either zero-shot high-level planners like pretrained language and vision-language models (LLMs/VLMs) or models trained on annotated robotic demonstrations. However, for complex and dexterous skills, attaining high success rates on long-horizon tasks still represents a major challenge – the longer the task is, the more likely it is that some stage will fail. Can humans help the robot to continuously improve its long-horizon task performance through intuitive and natural feedback? In this paper, we make the following observation: high-level policies that index into sufficiently rich and expressive low-level language-conditioned skills can be readily supervised with human feedback in the form of language corrections. We show that even fine-grained corrections, such as small movements ("move a bit to the left"), can be effectively incorporated into high-level policies, and that such corrections can be readily obtained from humans observing the robot and making occasional suggestions. This framework enables robots not only to rapidly adapt to real-time language feedback, but also incorporate this feedback into an iterative training scheme that improves the high-level policy's ability to correct errors in both low-level execution and high-level decision-making purely from verbal feedback. Our evaluation on real hardware shows that this leads to significant performance improvement in long-horizon, dexterous manipulation tasks without the need for any additional teleoperation. Videos and code are available at
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