ICLR 2022
Conference paper

RISP: Rendering-Invariant State Predictor with Differentiable Simulation and Rendering for Cross-Domain Parameter Estimation

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This work considers identifying parameters characterizing a physical system’s dynamic motion directly from a video whose rendering configurations are inaccessible. Existing solutions require massive training data or lack generalizability to unknown rendering configurations. We propose a novel approach that marries domain randomization and differentiable rendering gradients to address this problem. Our core idea is to train a rendering-invariant state-prediction (RISP) network that transforms image differences into state differences independent of rendering configurations, e.g., lighting, shadows, or material reflectance. To train this predictor, we formulate a new loss on rendering variances using gradients from differentiable rendering. Moreover, we present an efficient, second-order method to compute the gradients of this loss, allowing it to be integrated seamlessly into modern deep learning frameworks. We evaluate our method in rigid-body and deformable-body environments using four tasks: state estimation, system identification, imitation learning, and visuomotor control, including a challenging task of emulating dexterous motion of a robotic hand from a video. Compared with existing methods, our approach achieves significantly lower errors in almost all tasks and has better generalizability among unknown rendering configuration



ICLR 2022