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Oral Poster
DiffuseBot: Breeding Soft Robots With Physics-Augmented Generative Diffusion Models
Tsun-Hsuan Johnson Wang · Juntian Zheng · Pingchuan Ma · Yilun Du · Byungchul Kim · Andrew Spielberg · Josh Tenenbaum · Chuang Gan · Daniela Rus

Wed Dec 13 08:45 AM -- 10:45 AM (PST) @ Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 #425

Nature evolves creatures with a high complexity of morphological and behavioral intelligence, meanwhile computational methods lag in approaching that diversity and efficacy. Co-optimization of artificial creatures' morphology and control in silico shows promise for applications in physical soft robotics and virtual character creation; such approaches, however, require developing new learning algorithms that can reason about function atop pure structure. In this paper, we present DiffuseBot, a physics-augmented diffusion model that generates soft robot morphologies capable of excelling in a wide spectrum of tasks. \name bridges the gap between virtually generated content and physical utility by (i) augmenting the diffusion process with a physical dynamical simulation which provides a certificate of performance, and (ii) introducing a co-design procedure that jointly optimizes physical design and control by leveraging information about physical sensitivities from differentiable simulation. We showcase a range of simulated and fabricated robots along with their capabilities. Check our website: https://diffusebot.github.io/

Author Information

Tsun-Hsuan Johnson Wang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Juntian Zheng (Tsinghua University, Tsinghua University)
Pingchuan Ma (MIT CSAIL)
Yilun Du (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Byungchul Kim (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Andrew Spielberg (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University)
Josh Tenenbaum (MIT)

Josh Tenenbaum is an Associate Professor of Computational Cognitive Science at MIT in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He received his PhD from MIT in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002. He studies learning and inference in humans and machines, with the twin goals of understanding human intelligence in computational terms and bringing computers closer to human capacities. He focuses on problems of inductive generalization from limited data -- learning concepts and word meanings, inferring causal relations or goals -- and learning abstract knowledge that supports these inductive leaps in the form of probabilistic generative models or 'intuitive theories'. He has also developed several novel machine learning methods inspired by human learning and perception, most notably Isomap, an approach to unsupervised learning of nonlinear manifolds in high-dimensional data. He has been Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive Science, has been active on program committees for the CogSci and NIPS conferences, and has co-organized a number of workshops, tutorials and summer schools in human and machine learning. Several of his papers have received outstanding paper awards or best student paper awards at the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), NIPS, and Cognitive Science conferences. He is the recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology (2005), the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2007), and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (in the area of cognition and human learning) from the American Psychological Association (2008).

Chuang Gan (UMass Amherst/ MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab)
Daniela Rus (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

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