An Application of Reinforcement Learning to Aerobatic Helicopter Flight

Autonomous helicopter flight is widely regarded to be a highly challenging control problem. This paper presents the first successful autonomous completion on a real RC helicopter of the following four aerobatic maneuvers: forward flip and sideways roll at low speed, tail-in funnel, and nose-in funnel. Our experimental results significantly extend the state of the art in autonomous helicopter flight. We used the following approach: First we had a pilot fly the helicopter to help us find a helicopter dynamics model and a reward (cost) function. Then we used a reinforcement learning (optimal control) algorithm to find a controller that is optimized for the resulting model and reward function. More specifically, we used differential dynamic programming (DDP), an extension of the linear quadratic regulator (LQR). Authors: Pieter Abbeel, Adam Coates, Morgan Quigley, Andrew Y. Ng (2007)
AUTHORED BY
Pieter Abbeel
Adam Coates
Morgan Quigley
Andrew Y. Ng

Abstract

Autonomous helicopter flight is widely regarded to be a highly challenging control problem. This paper presents the first successful autonomous completion on a real RC helicopter of the following four aerobatic maneuvers: forward flip and sideways roll at low speed, tail-in funnel, and nose-in funnel. Our experimental results significantly extend the state of the art in autonomous helicopter flight. We used the following approach: First we had a pilot fly the helicopter to help us find a helicopter dynamics model and a reward (cost) function. Then we used a reinforcement learning (optimal control) algorithm to find a controller that is optimized for the resulting model and reward function. More specifically, we used differential dynamic programming (DDP), an extension of the linear quadratic regulator (LQR).

Download PDF

Related Projects

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment