Abstract: In this paper we consider a general task of jumping varying distances and heights for a quadrupedal robot in noisy environments, such as off of uneven terrain and with variable robot dynamics parameters. To accurately jump in such conditions, we propose a framework using deep reinforcement learning to leverage the complex solution of nonlinear trajectory optimization for quadrupedal jumping. While the standalone optimization limits jumping to take-off from flat ground and requires accurate assumption of robot dynamics, our proposed approach improves the robustness to allow jumping off of significantly uneven terrain with variable robot dynamical parameters. Through our method, the quadruped is able to jump distances of up to 1 m and heights of up to 0.4 m, while being robust to environment noise of foot disturbances of up to 0.1 m in height as well as with 5% variability of its body mass and inertia. This behavior is learned through just a few thousand simulated jumps in PyBullet, and we perform a sim-to-sim transfer to Gazebo.
Authors: Guillaume Bellegarda, Quan Nguyen (University of Southern California)