One-Shot Learning of Manipulation Skills with Online Dynamics Adaptation and Neural Network Priors

Justin Fu, Sergey Levine, Pieter Abbeel

Abstract - One of the key in challenges in applying reinforcement learning to complex robotic control tasks is the need to gather large amounts of experience in order to find an effective policy for the task at hand. Model-based reinforcement learning can achieve good sample efficiency, but requires the ability to learn a model of the dynamics that is good enough to learn an effective policy. In this work, we develop a model-based reinforcement learning algorithm that combines prior knowledge from previous tasks with online adaptation of the dynamics model. These two ingredients enable highly sample-efficient learning even in regimes where estimating the true dynamcis is very difficult, since the online model adaptation allows the method to locally compensate for unmodeled variation in the dynamics. We encode the prior experience into a neural network dynamics model, and adapt it online by progressively refitting a local linear model of the dynamics. Our experimental results show that this approach can be used to solve a variety of complex robotic manipulation tasks in just a single attempt, using prior data from other manipulation behaviors.
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