Learning a Contact-Adaptive Controller for Robust, Efficient Legged Locomotion
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Robot Learning, PMLR 155:883-894, 2021.
We present a hierarchical framework that combines model-based control and reinforcement learning (RL) to synthesize robust controllers for a quadruped (the Unitree Laikago). The system consists of a high-level controller that learns to choose from a set of primitives in response to changes in the environment and a low-level controller that utilizes an established control method to robustly execute the primitives. Our framework learns a controller that can adapt to challenging environmental changes on the fly, including novel scenarios not seen during training. The learned controller is up to 85 percent more energy efficient and is more robust compared to baseline methods. We also deploy the controller on a physical robot without any randomization or adaptation scheme.