TitleGaussian Processes and Reinforcement Learning for Identification and Control of an Autonomous Blimp
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsKo J, Klein D, Fox D, Hähnel D
Conference NameICRA

<p>Blimps are a promising platform for aerial robotics and have been studied extensively for this purpose. Unlike other aerial vehicles, blimps are relatively safe and also possess the ability to loiter for long periods. These advantages, however, have been difficult to exploit because blimp dynamics are complex and inherently non-linear. The classical approach to system modeling represents the system as an ordinary differential equation (ODE) based on Newtonian principles. A more recent modeling approach is based on representing state transitions as a Gaussian process (GP). In this paper, we present a general technique for system identification that combines these two modeling approaches into a single formulation. This is done by training a Gaussian process on the residual between the non-linear model and ground truth training data. The result is a GP-enhanced model that provides an estimate of uncertainty in addition to giving better state predictions than either ODE or GP alone. We show how the GP-enhanced model can be used in conjunction with reinforcement learning to generate a blimp controller that is superior to those learned with ODE or GP models alone.</p>


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Citation KeyKo07Gau