Abstract

In this work we consider the problem of nonlinear system identification, using data to learn multiple and often coupled parameters that allow a simulator to more accurately model a physical system and close the so-called reality gap for more accurate robot control. Our approach uses iterative residual tuning (IRT), a recently-developed derivative-free system identification technique that utilizes neural networks and visual observation to estimate parameter differences between a proposed model and a target model. We develop several modifications to the basic IRT approach and apply it to the system identification of a 5-parameter model of a marble rolling in a robot-controlled labyrinth game mechanism. We validate our technique both in simulation — where we outperform two baselines — and on a real system, where we achieve marble tracking error of 4.02% after just 5 optimization iterations.

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