New Addition To ROS: Bridge To OpenAI

OpenAI LogoWhile we’re on the topic of things I wanted to investigate in the future… there was a recent announcement declaring availability of the openai_ros package, a ROS toolkit to connect OpenAI to robots running ROS. Like the Robotis demo on how to use TensorFlow in ROS, it reinforces that ROS is a great platform for putting these new waves of artificial intelligence tools into action on real robots. Of course, that assumes I’ve put in the time to become proficient with these AI platforms and that has yet to happen. Like TensorFlow, learning about OpenAI is still on my to-do list and most of the announcement information didn’t mean anything to me. I understood the parts talking about Gazebo and about actual robot, but the concept of an OpenAI “task” is still fuzzy, as are details on how it relates to OpenAI training.

What’s clear is that my to-do list is growing faster than I can get through them. This is not a terrible problem to have, as long as it’s all interesting and rewarding to learn. But I can only take so much book learning before I lose my anchor and start drifting. Sometime soon I’ll have to decide to stop with the endless reading and put in some hands-on time to make abstract ideas concrete.

It’ll be fun when I get there, though. OpenAI recently got some press with their work evolving a robotic hand to perform dexterous manipulations of a cube. It looks really slick and I look forward to putting OpenAI to work on my own projects in the future.

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