This paper provides a brief overview of three recent contributions to robot learning developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The first is the use of policy search algorithms that exploit new techniques in nonparameteric heteroscedastic regression to directly model policy-dependent distribution of cost. Experiments demonstrate dynamic stabilization of a mobile manipulator through learning flexible, risk-sensitive policies in very few trials. The second contribution is a novel method for robot learning from unstructured demonstrations that permits intelligent sequencing of primitives to create novel, adaptive behavior. This is demonstrated on a furniture assembly task using the PR2 mobile manipulator. The third contribution is a robot system that autonomously acquires skills through interaction with its environment.