Large language models can encode a wealth of semantic knowledge about the world. Such knowledge could be extremely useful to robots aiming to act upon high-level, temporally extended instructions expressed in natural language. However, a significant weakness of language models is that they lack real-world experience, which makes it difficult to leverage them for decision making within a given embodiment. For example, asking a language model to describe how to clean a spill might result in a reasonable narrative, but it may not be applicable to a particular agent, such as a robot, that needs to perform this task in a particular environment. We propose to provide real-world grounding by means of pretrained skills, which are used to constrain the model to propose natural language actions that are both feasible and contextually appropriate. The robot can act as the language model's "hands and eyes," while the language model supplies high-level semantic knowledge about the task. We show how low-level skills can be combined with large language models so that the language model provides high-level knowledge about the procedures for performing complex and temporally-extended instructions, while value functions associated with these skills provide the grounding necessary to connect this knowledge to a particular physical environment. We evaluate our method on a number of real-world robotic tasks, where we show the need for real-world grounding and that this approach is capable of completing long-horizon, abstract, natural language instructions on a mobile manipulator. The project's website and the video can be found at https://say-can.github.io/
Recent work in visual end-to-end learning for robotics has shown the promise of imitation learning across a variety of tasks. Such approaches are expensive both because they require large amounts of real world training demonstrations and because identifying the best model to deploy in the real world requires time-consuming real-world evaluations. These challenges can be mitigated by simulation: by supplementing real world data with simulated demonstrations and using simulated evaluations to identify high performing policies. However, this introduces the well-known "reality gap" problem, where simulator inaccuracies decorrelate performance in simulation from that of reality. In this paper, we build on top of prior work in GAN-based domain adaptation and introduce the notion of a Task Consistency Loss (TCL), a self-supervised loss that encourages sim and real alignment both at the feature and action-prediction levels. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by teaching a mobile manipulator to autonomously approach a door, turn the handle to open the door, and enter the room. The policy performs control from RGB and depth images and generalizes to doors not encountered in training data. We achieve 80% success across ten seen and unseen scenes using only ~16.2 hours of teleoperated demonstrations in sim and real. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to tackle latched door opening from a purely end-to-end learning approach, where the task of navigation and manipulation are jointly modeled by a single neural network.