Boyuan Chen’s Homepage

I’m Boyuan Chen (陈博远), a hardcore robotics enthusiast and a proud thinker of the world. I am a senior at UC Berkeley studying Computer Science, Math, and Philosophy. I hope to tackle the most important challenges for human society. I am currently an undergraduate researcher at Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research(BAIR).

My research

For the past year, I was a research assistant at Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research. My work during this time centers on learning and leveraging human priors in artificial intelligence. In the future, I hope to work further on creating generalizable robots.

Unsupervised Learning of Visual 3D Keypoints for Sensorimotor Control (On going work)
Boyuan Chen, Deepak Pathak, Pieter Abbeel

Keypoints are the bridge between control and computer vision. Our work learns 3d keypoints that are useful for a variety of control tasks without supervision.

Scoring-Aggregating-Planning: Learning task-agnostic priors from interactions and sparse rewards for zero-shot generalization (Accepted at ICRA 2021)
Boyuan Chen *, Huazhe Xu *, Yang Gao and Trevor Darrell

Our world is made of basic building blocks. Two very different rooms or video game levels are just different configurations of shared building blocks. In this work, we learn priors of these building blocks and leverage them for generalization to new environments.

Discovering Diverse Multi-Agent Strategic Behavior via Reward Randomization (Accepted at ICLR 2021)

Zhenggang Tang, Chao Yu, Boyuan Chen, Huazhe Xu, Xiaolong Wang, Fei Fang, Simon Shaolei Du, Yu Wang, Yi Wu

We propose a new algorithm, Reward-Randomized Policy Gradient (RPG) for discovering diverse strategic policies in complex multi-agent games. RPG is able to discover multiple distinctive strategies in challenging temporal trust dilemmas where multiple equilibria exist but standard multi-agent policy gradient algorithms always converge to a fixed one with a sub-optimal payoff for every player.

My robots

Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.

Jules Verne

I built a lof of robots and interesting devices throughout the years! My passion for robotics motivated me to start self-studying programming and CADing in my high school. From that on, robots became the coolest thing in my life. I know everything about building robots, from CADing, ROS, CV, wiring, sensors, embedded system, control, leading robot team, to even render beautiful images of robots. In college, my passion for robots is focused on intelligent decision making.

My autonomous delivery robot that can navigate robustly in Sutarja Dai Hall at UC Berkeley!

My teams

We choose to go to the Moon! …We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

John F. Kennedy

I am the leader of several excellent teams throughout recent years. I am really proud that my spirits are still influential in many of them even after I leave for a long time.

Throughout my experience in these teams, I tackled a lot of challenges including moral crisis, debt, successor crisis, trolling, internal conflicts, competition. Some of the challenges involve difficult decisions when my commitment to team conflicts with my life and love. I am proud to say I tackled most of these challenges successfully and unbiasedly. All these experiences positively shaped my current character and leadership style.

Some significant teams I want to mention:

  • Robomaster at Berkeley, which I founded and served as team captain in 2019. First team I lead with a democratic leadership style. It turned out to be very successful.
  • Robomooc.com, my mini-company which my friends and I developed a lot of cool robotics kits and tutorials and earned me a lot of money for my robot hobbies.
  • Artificial Intelligence Club at Jiangsu Tianyi High, which I served the president for two years and transformed it from a failing club to an impactful one in the region.
  • FRC team 7732, which I overcame unimaginable difficulties to establish. During my leadership in 2017, I faced some greatest challenges like debt and family opposition.
  • The student government at Jiangsu Tianyi High. I got highest vote in 2016 election but school officials prevented me from being president (VP instead) because they want more control. I lead a democratic election revolution in my senior year.

My philosophy

I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

Nietzsche, in thus spoke zarathustra

My philosophy project centers around “exploration”. Rather than approaching human ethics as optimizing happiness, I argue exploration is the ultimate thing to optimize. Human desire of innovation, art and the instinct to reproduce are all interesting outcomes of this principle. On the metaphysical side, exploration is meaningful as a direct result of space and time, which are prioris instead of the empirical happiness.

I also love the overman Nietzsche preached in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I love earth and humans. I believe in excellence instead of success. I hope my limited lifespan would be spent on achieving a higher form of life or improving human society instead of climbing social ladders. My love and belief are the strongest motivations behind my pursuit and effort in my daily life.

However, it’s only been three years after I step into the western hemisphere for the first time. I need to see the world more, read more and think more to update my philosophy.

Things that inspired me

  • Mysterious Island, science fiction novel by Jules Verne. My childhood favorite, which made me fascinated with technology and knowledge for a decade.
  • Thus spoke Zarathustra, philosophy novel by Friedrich Nietzsche. Coincides with a lot of my personal view of life. Motivated me to read more philosophy books.
  • Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, book by Issac Newton. A wonderful book for bringing me back into a time when all science is one.
  • 3 Idiots, Indian movie. Teaches me “pursue excellence, success will chase you”. My high school life is pretty like the one of main character Rancho in the movie.
  • The brightest star in the night sky, Chinese song by escape plan. A song that accompanied me through my most difficult times in spring and summer 2017.
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online. It’s such a rich source to satisfy my curiosity about everything. I love reading articles about historical events and foods on it.
  • Red Alert 2, game by Westwood. My favorite game since my family’s first PC. Searching and downloading the game was my first time to use the Internet.