Keywords: instruction following, robotics, language models, pre-training
TL;DR: Combining large language models with CLIP and a visual navigation model can enable zero-shot instruction following in novel environments with a real robot -- no fine-tuning or annotated data collection required!
Abstract: Goal-conditioned policies for robotic navigation can be trained on large, unannotated datasets, providing for good generalization to real-world settings. However, particularly in vision-based settings where specifying goals requires an image, this makes for an unnatural interface. Language provides a more convenient modality for communication with robots, but contemporary methods typically require expensive supervision, in the form of trajectories annotated with language descriptions. We develop a system, LM-Nav, for robotic navigation that enjoys the benefits of training on unannotated large datasets of trajectories, while still providing a high-level interface to the user. Instead of utilizing a labeled instruction following dataset, we show that such a system can be constructed entirely out of pre-trained models for navigation (ViNG), image-language association (CLIP), and language modeling (GPT-3), without requiring any fine-tuning or language-annotated robot data. We instantiate LM-Nav on a real-world mobile robot and demonstrate long-horizon navigation through complex, outdoor environments from natural language instructions.