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Sebastian Blaes


Ph.D. candidate in the Autonomous Learning Group at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tuebingen.


Shadow Hand learns how to juggle with our improved CEM (iCEM) method

Shadow Hand learns how to juggle with our improved CEM (iCEM) method

In our newest paper Sample-efficient Cross-Entropy Method for Real-time Planning we are able to solve a number of challenging robotic tasks such as dexterous in-hand manipulation or the humanoid stand-up task almost in real-time while achieving state-of-the-art performance.

Our key contributions are:

  • Adding colored noise and correlations
  • Adding memory to CEM by keeping an elite-subset over multiple inner CEM-iterations and shifting an elite-subset to the next outer CEM-iteration
  • Executing always the best action instead of the mean actions, clipping action boundaries and decaying the population size

This work is a first step towards using zero-order optimization strategies for real-time planning and control.