Reinforcement Learning-based Control for Swing-up and Stabilization of an Underactuated Double Pendulum System

Nonlinear systems' control presents a significant challenge and has attracted considerable interest within the research community. In this study, reinforcement learning-based control is explored, a method that has shown promising results across various applications. The focus is placed on an underactuated double pendulum system, which is characterized as either a pendubot or an acrobot, depending on the actuated joint. The primary goals are to achieve effective swing-up and to maintain stability at the system's highest position. A combined controller approach is employed, integrating a Soft Actor-Critic (SAC) trained agent, a model-free reinforcement learning method, with a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) controller. Promising results have been achieved in simulations. To address the challenges encountered in the transition from simulation to real-world application, several techniques, including domain randomization, early termination, and noisy validation, are employed. These methods aim to enhance the robustness of the system in a real-world environment. The application on real hardware, especially for the pendubot setup, has demonstrated a limited success rate of 40%. Through performance and robustness leaderboards, the efficacy of the SAC+LQR controller in both simulated and real-world environments is quantitatively assessed.

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last updated 31.03.2023
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