MORE | Spring 2024


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Machine learning or gradient-based optimization with hardware in the loop typically requires differentiation through the hardware layer. For example, in the optimal control of a hardware system, finding an optimal system trajectory requires differentiation through unknown dynamics of the hardware, which is a challenge. In this project, differentiation through the hardware layer is possible using randomized smoothing. However, this leads to significant data inefficiency when incorporating into machine learning or optimization-based frameworks. Therefore, the research team proposes using a neural network gradient estimator as a proxy for such randomized smoothing for hardware layer differentiation.  Focus will be on the application of the proposed method in optimal control of a hardware robot.

Student researcher

Hussain Bhavnagarwala

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Graduation date: Spring 2024