Online Simultaneous Semi-Parametric Dynamics Model Learning

Joshua Smith, Michael Mistry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate models of robots’ dynamics are critical for control, stability, motion optimization, and interaction. Semi-Parametric approaches to dynamics learning combine physics-based Parametric models with unstructured Non-Parametric regression with the hope to achieve both accuracy and generalizability. In this paper, we highlight the non-stationary problem created when attempting to adapt both Parametric and Non-Parametric components simultaneously. We present a consistency transform designed to compensate for this non-stationary effect, such that the contributions of both models can adapt simultaneously without adversely affecting the performance of the platform. Thus, we are able to apply the Semi-Parametric learning approach for continuous iterative online adaptation, without relying on batch or offline updates. We validate the transform via a perfect virtual model as well as by applying the overall system on a Kuka LWR IV manipulator. We demonstrate improved tracking performance during online learning and show a clear transference of contribution between the two components with a learning bias towards the Parametric component.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2039-2046
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number2
Early online date3 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020
Event2020 International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Virtual conference, France
Duration: 31 May 202031 Aug 2020

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