Learning Robust Manipulation Skills with Guided Policy Search via Generative Motor Reflexes
Guided Policy Search enables robots to learn control policies for complex manipulation tasks efficiently. Therein, the control policies are represented as high-dimensional neural networks which derive robot actions based on states. However, due to the small number of real-world trajectory samples in Guided Policy Search, the resulting neural networks are only robust in the neighbourhood of the trajectory distribution explored by real-world interactions. In this paper, we present a new policy representation called Generative Motor Reflexes, which is able to generate robust actions over a broader state space compared to previous methods. In contrast to prior stateaction policies, Generative Motor Reflexes map states to parameters for a state-dependent motor reflex, which is then used to derive actions. Robustness is achieved by generating similar motor reflexes for arbitrary states. We evaluate the presented method in simulated and real-world manipulation tasks, including contact-rich peg-in-hole tasks. Using this evaluation tasks, we show that policies represented as Generative Motor Reflexes lead to robust manipulation skills also outside the explored trajectory distribution with less training needs compared to previous methods. Therefore, the presented approach serves as a step towards reliable applications of reinforcement learning for manipulation.
Link to the paper: arXiv:1809.05714