16-745: Dynamic Optimization: DRC-related Project Suggestions

The project will involve performing a substantial dynamic optimization, and writing a paper about it. The writeup is as important as the programming (if not more so) and will be in the format of a conference paper (more on that later). Those of you who already have a dynamic optimization problem you are working on for your research should work on that (subject to the Professor's approval). Another option is to work on the problem or algorithm described below (subject to the Professor's approval).

Optimize DRC Tasks

We will give you models and simulator to work with.

Rough Terrain Walking

Climb Steep Stairs or a Ladder

Getting Into And Out Of A Car

Move Debris

Go Through Doors

Combinatorial Optimization: Efficient Search Over Discrete Actions

Parallel A* For Footstep Planning

How can we use a GPU, multiple threads/cores, or the vector instruction set of a CPU to make A* more effective?

Choosing Motor Primitives And Their Arguments

How can we choose from a library of discrete behaviors which have continuous arguments?

Trajectory Optimization

Newton-method-based Trajectory Optimization

Figure out efficient analytic 2nd derivatives for inverse dynamics, and an optimization algorithm to use this information.

Vector SIMD-based Trajectory Optimization

Maximize performance of trajectory optimization using the vector instruction set (AVX) of current Intel processors.

GPU-based Trajectory Optimization

Maximize performance of trajectory optimization using a Tesla K20 GPU.

Using Inverse Dynamics-based Trajectory Optimization When No or Multiple Inverses Exist

How do we handle underactuated systems, double support in walking, and contact in manipulation?

Designing Robust Behavior

Minimize Risk in Footstep Planning

How can we use probabilistic modeling to choose behavior to keep the risk of failure below a threshold.

Efficient Policy Optimization Using Parallel Computation

Policy Optimization Using Multiple Models

How can we efficiently optimize a policy over a set of multiple models?

Inverse Optimal Control

Use inverse optimal control to establish what a reasonable optimization criterion might be for rough terrain walking.

Optimize Perception For DRC Tasks

Treat designing a perception algorithm for doing a DRC task as an optimization problem, with fixed computational resources and a library of possible computational operations. A*, trajectory optimization, and/or policy optimization might work.