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Indirect robot model learning for tracking control

Botond Attila Bócsi; Lehel Csató; Jan Peters
In: Advanced Robotics, Vol. 28, No. 9, Pages 589-599, Taylor & Francis Online, 2014.


Learning task-space tracking control on redundant robot manipulators is an important but difficult problem. A main difficulty is the non-uniqueness of the solution: a task-space trajectory has multiple joint-space trajectories associated, therefore averaging over non-convex solution space needs to be done if treated as a regression problem. A second class of difficulties arise for those robots when the physical model is either too complex or even not available. In this situation machine learning methods may be a suitable alternative to classical approaches. We propose a learning framework for tracking control that is applicable for underactuated or non-rigid robots where an analytical physical model of the robot is unavailable. The proposed framework builds on the insight that tracking problems are well defined in the task- and joint-space coordinates and consequently predictions can be obtained via local optimization. Physical experiments show that state-of-the art accuracy can be achieved in both online and offline tracking control learning. Furthermore, we show that the presented method is capable of controlling underactuated robot architectures as well.

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