[Research] A User’s Guide to Calibrating Robotics Simulators

Abstract: Simulators are a critical component of modern robotics research. Strategies for both perception and decision making can be studied in simulation first before deployed to real-world systems, saving on time and costs. Despite significant progress on the development of sim-to-real algorithms, the analysis of different methods is still conducted in an ad-hoc manner, without a consistent set of tests and metrics for comparison. This paper fills this gap and proposes a set of benchmarks and a framework for the study of various algorithms aimed to transfer models and policies learned in simulation to the real world. We conduct experiments on a wide range of well known simulated environments to characterize and offer insights into the performance of different algorithms. Our analysis can be useful for practitioners working in this area and can help make informed choices about the behavior and main properties of sim-to-real algorithms.

Get access to open-sourced benchmark, training data, and trained models: https://github.com/NVlabs/sim-parameter-estimation

Paper link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.08985v1

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