Robotic insertion tasks are characterized by contact and friction mechanics, making them challenging for conventional feedback control methods due to unmodeled physical effects. Reinforcement learning (RL) is a promising approach for learning control policies in such settings. However, RL can be unsafe during exploration and might require a large amount of real-world training data, which is expensive to collect. In this paper, we study how to use meta-reinforcement learning to solve the bulk of the problem in simulation by solving a family of simulated industrial insertion tasks and then adapt policies quickly in the real world. We demonstrate our approach by training an agent to successfully perform challenging real-world insertion tasks using less than 20 trials of real-world experience.
Speakers: Gerrit Schoettler, Ashvin Nair, Juan Aparicio Ojea, Sergey Levine, Eugen Solowjow