Encyclopedia of Robotics

Living Edition
| Editors: Marcelo H Ang, Oussama Khatib, Bruno Siciliano

Learning from Demonstration (Programming by Demonstration)

  • Sylvain CalinonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-41610-1_27-1



Learning from demonstration (LfD), also called programming by demonstration (PbD), refers to the process used to transfer new skills to a machine by relying on demonstrations from a user. It is inspired by the imitation capability developed by humans and animals to acquire new skills. LfD aims at making programming accessible to novice users by providing them with an intuitive interface they are familiar with, as humans already exchange knowledge in this way.


In robotics, LfD appeared as a way to reprogram a robot without having to rely on a computer language or a complex interface. It instead introduces more intuitive skill transfer interactions with the robot (Billard et al., 2016; Argall et al., 2009). The goal is to provide user-friendly interfaces that do not require knowledge in computer programming or robotics. LfD can be considered at various levels, from the transfer of low-level...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Idiap Research InstituteMartignySwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jee-Hwan Ryu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringKorea University of Technology & EducationCheon-AnRepublic of Korea