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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 23, 2023
  2. Firoozi, Roya ; Mehr, Negar ; Yel, Esen ; Antonova, Rika ; Bohg, Jeannette ; Schwager, Mac ; Kochenderfer, Mykel (Ed.)
    This paper investigates the learning, or system identification, of a class of piecewise-affine dynamical systems known as linear complementarity systems (LCSs). We propose a violation-based loss which enables efficient learning of the LCS parameterization, without prior knowledge of the hybrid mode boundaries, using gradient-based methods. The proposed violation-based loss incorporates both dynamics prediction loss and a novel complementarity - violation loss. We show several properties attained by this loss formulation, including its differentiability, the efficient computation of first- and second-order derivatives, and its relationship to the traditional prediction loss, which strictly enforces complementarity. We apply this violation-based loss formulation to learn LCSs with tens of thousands of (potentially stiff) hybrid modes. The results demonstrate a state-of-the-art ability to identify piecewise-affine dynamics, outperforming methods which must differentiate through non-smooth linear complementarity problems.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 23, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. Complementarity problems, a class of mathematical optimization problems with orthogonality constraints, are widely used in many robotics tasks, such as locomotion and manipulation, due to their ability to model non-smooth phenomena (e.g., contact dynamics). In this paper, we propose a method to analyze the stability of complementarity systems with neural network controllers. First, we introduce a method to represent neural networks with rectified linear unit (ReLU) activations as the solution to a linear complementarity problem. Then, we show that systems with ReLU network controllers have an equivalent linear complementarity system (LCS) description. Using the LCS representation, we turn the stability verification problem into a linear matrix inequality (LMI) feasibility problem. We demonstrate the approach on several examples, including multi-contact problems and friction models with non-unique solutions.
  5. While many robotic tasks, like manipulation and locomotion, are fundamentally based in making and breaking contact with the environment, state-of-the-art control policies struggle to deal with the hybrid nature of multi-contact motion. Such controllers often rely heavily upon heuristics or, due to the combinatoric structure in the dynamics, are unsuitable for real-time control. Principled deployment of tactile sensors offers a promising mechanism for stable and robust control, but modern approaches often use this data in an ad hoc manner, for instance to guide guarded moves. In this work, by exploiting the complementarity structure of contact dynamics, we propose a control framework which can close the loop on rich, tactile sensors. Critically, this framework is non-combinatoric, enabling optimization algorithms to automatically synthesize provably stable control policies. We demonstrate this approach on three different underactuated, multi-contact robotics problems.