Cool Homework Videos

Completing my PhD coursework at CMU, I had the pleasure of taking Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control (KDC) with Chris Atkeson and Adaptive Control & Reinforcement Learning (which we called KDC2) with Drew Bagnell & Christ Atkeson. These courses had pretty awesome homeworks for which we made cool videos.

KDC Hwk #2: Simulating of a 2D Walking Biped

Our goal was simulate and design a controller in ODE to get a 2D biped to walk. One member of our team spent 8 solid hours hand-tuning torques for each joint with a state-machine. Features a biped running to Chariots of Fire music and the fortune cookie “many a false step is made by standing still.” How much better can you get?

KDC Hwk #3: Biped Control & State Estimation

Our goal was to design a PID controller and Kalman filters to enable a biped to walk with extremely noisy (simulated) sensors and actuators. We replaced the ODE graphics with an infinite disco floor and got our biped dancing to the Pirates of the Carribean theme song.

KDC Hwk #4: Control of a PUMA Robot Arm

Our goal was to design a trajectory following control system for a PUMA robot arm. To add to the fun, we turned the puma robot arm into a knife wielding, watermelon carving machine of death.

KDC2 Hwk #1: Adaptive Tetris AI

Our goal was to design a computer AI that played tetris using adaptive control and reinforcement learning. We used ran genetic algorithms on a quad-core for a week, learning optimal strategies over 267 million played games. Our simulator ran so many games the cumulative rows cleared variable overflowed 4 billion and went negative!

KDC2 Hwk #2: Control a Helicopter Simulation

Our goal was to design a controller to fly a simulated helicopter with noise. We built a cool visualizer and performed an inverted nose-in funnel using LQR and DDP.

KDC2 Hwk #3: Simulating a 3D Walking Biped

Our goal was to make a 3D simulated biped walk 1 m/s. The friction modeling was particularly hilarious as the biped often acted as if it was on ice. To spice things up, we made a Jack Sparrow pirate biped.