Consistency Policy: Accelerated Visuomotor Policies via Consistency Distillation

1Stanford University 2Princeton University
RSS 2024

Consistency Policy

Diffusion Policy

Consistency Policy accelerates Diffusion Policy for real time inference on compute constrained robotics platforms. The above videos are 4x sped up for brevity. All other videos are 1x speed.


Many robotic systems, such as mobile manipulators or quadrotors, cannot be equipped with high-end GPUs due to space, weight, and power constraints. These constraints prevent these systems from leveraging recent developments in visuomotor policy architectures that require high-end GPUs to achieve fast policy inference. In this paper, we propose Consistency Policy, a faster and similarly powerful alternative to Diffusion Policy for learning visuomotor robot control.

By virtue of its fast inference speed, Consistency Policy can enable low latency decision making in resource-constrained robotic setups. A Consistency Policy is distilled from a pretrained Diffusion Policy by enforcing self-consistency along the Diffusion Policy's learned trajectories. We compare Consistency Policy with Diffusion Policy and other related speed-up methods across 6 simulation tasks as well as two real-world tasks in which we demonstrate inference on a laptop GPU. For all these tasks, Consistency Policy speeds up inference by an order of magnitude compared to the fastest alternative method and maintains competitive success rates.

We also show that the Conistency Policy training procedure is robust to the pretrained Diffusion Policy's quality, a useful result that helps practioners avoid extensive testing of the pretrained model. Key design decisions that enabled this performance are the choice of consistency objective, reduced initial sample variance, and the choice of preset chaining steps.

Real World Experiments

Trash Clean Up

Consistency Policy

Diffusion Policy

Plug Insertion

Consistency Policy

Diffusion Policy

Simulation experiments

We test 6 different simulation tasks across the Robomimic, Franka Kitchen, and Push-T benchmarks. We compare Consistency Policy with Diffusion Policy and other related speed-up methods.

Tool Hang
Franka Kitchen


Both Diffusion and Consistency Policy work by sampling random actions and denoising them into action predictions. Diffusion Policy denoises an action sequence over many steps, resulting in high inference costs. Consistency Policy generates an action sequence in a single step.

Diffusion Policy
Consistency Policy

We distill with the CTM objective, which enforces self-consistency along a PFODE (black) by sampling points s, u, t in time, denoising from t → u with a teacher model under stopgrad (green), denoising from t → s with the student model (blue), and denoising u → s with the student model under stopgrad (orange). We then use the stopgrad student model to take both generated positions at time s back to time 0. The difference between these two final generations is the computed loss, LCTM (red).

In our experiments, we found u = t − 1 and s arbitrary below u to work best.


      title     = {Consistency Policy: Accelerated Visuomotor Policies via Consistency Distillation},
      author    = {Prasad, Aaditya and Lin, Kevin and Wu, Jimmy and Zhou, Linqi and Bohg, Jeannette},
      booktitle = {Robotics: Science and Systems},
      year      = {2024},


This work was supported in part by the Toyota Research Institute, and was completed at IPRL lab. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the sponsers.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Aaditya Prasad.