Online Learning for Obstacle AvoidanceDownload PDF

Published: 30 Aug 2023, Last Modified: 17 Oct 2023CoRL 2023 PosterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Regret, Online, Learning, Convex, Optimization, Obstacle
TL;DR: Use online learning methods to derive a regret-minimizing controller for obstacle avoidance tasks.
Abstract: We approach the fundamental problem of obstacle avoidance for robotic systems via the lens of online learning. In contrast to prior work that either assumes worst-case realizations of uncertainty in the environment or a stationary stochastic model of uncertainty, we propose a method that is efficient to implement and provably grants instance-optimality with respect to perturbations of trajectories generated from an open-loop planner (in the sense of minimizing worst-case regret). The resulting policy adapts online to realizations of uncertainty and provably compares well with the best obstacle avoidance policy in hindsight from a rich class of policies. The method is validated in simulation on a dynamical system environment and compared to baseline open-loop planning and robust Hamilton-Jacobi reachability techniques. Further, it is implemented on a hardware example where a quadruped robot traverses a dense obstacle field and encounters input disturbances due to time delays, model uncertainty, and dynamics nonlinearities.
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