Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has achieved breakthrough results on many tasks, but agents often fail to generalize beyond the environment they were trained in. As a result, deep RL algorithms that promote generalization are receiving increasing attention. However, works in this area use a wide variety of tasks and experimental setups for evaluation. The literature lacks a controlled assessment of the merits of different generalization schemes. Our aim is to catalyze community-wide progress on generalization in deep RL. To this end, we present a benchmark and experimental protocol, and conduct a systematic empirical study. Our framework contains a diverse set of environments, our methodology covers both in-distribution and out-of-distribution generalization, and our evaluation includes deep RL algorithms that specifically tackle generalization. Our key finding is that `vanilla' deep RL algorithms generalize better than specialized schemes that were proposed specifically to tackle generalization.
We propose a novel framework for Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) in modular robotics that provides an approach which trains a robot directly from joint states, using traditional robotic tools. We use an state-of-the-art implementation of the Proximal Policy Optimization, Trust Region Policy Optimization and Actor-Critic Kronecker-Factored Trust Region algorithms to learn policies in four different Modular Articulated Robotic Arm (MARA) environments. We support this process using a framework that communicates with typical tools used in robotics, such as Gazebo and Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2). We compare the robustness of the performance of such methods in modular robots with an empirical study in simulation.