ICRA 2012 Paper Abstract


Paper WeB310.2

Gillula, Jeremy (Stanford University), Tomlin, Claire (UC Berkeley)

Guaranteed Safe Online Learning Via Reachability: Tracking a Ground Target Using a Quadrotor

Scheduled for presentation during the Interactive Session "Interactive Session WeB-3" (WeB310), Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 11:30−12:00, Ballroom D

2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 14-18, 2012, RiverCentre, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 20, 2018

Keywords Robot Safety, Learning and Adaptive Systems, Aerial Robotics


While machine learning techniques have become popular tools in the design of autonomous systems, the asymptotic nature of their performance guarantees means that they should not be used in scenarios in which safety and robustness are critical for success. By pairing machine learning algorithms with rigorous safety analyses, such as Hamilton-Jacobi-Isaacs (HJI) reachability, this limitation can be overcome. Guaranteed Safe Online Learning via Reachability (GSOLR) is a framework which combines HJI reachability with general machine learning techniques, allowing for the design of robotic systems which demonstrate both high performance and guaranteed safety. In this paper we show how the GSOLR framework can be applied to a target tracking problem, in which an observing quadrotor helicopter must keep a target ground vehicle with unknown (but bounded) dynamics inside its field of view at all times, while simultaneously attempting to build a motion model of the target. The resulting algorithm was implemented on board the Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control, and was compared to a naive safety-only algorithm and a learning-only algorithm. Experimental results illustrate the success of the GSOLR algorithm, even under scenarios in which the machine learning algorithm performed poorly (and would otherwise lead to unsafe actions), thus demonstrating the power of this technique.



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