Deep Reinforcement Learning techniques demonstrate advances in the domain of robotics. One of the limiting factors is a large number of interaction samples usually required for training in simulated and real-world environments. In this work, we demonstrate for a set of simulated dexterous in-hand object manipulation tasks that tactile information can substantially increase sample efficiency for training (by up to more than threefold). We also observe an improvement in performance (up to 46%) after adding tactile information. To examine the role of tactile-sensor parameters in these improvements, we included experiments with varied sensor-measurement accuracy (ground truth continuous values, noisy continuous values, Boolean values), and varied spatial resolution of the tactile sensors (927 sensors, 92 sensors, and 16 pooled sensor areas in the hand). To facilitate further studies and comparisons, we make these touch-sensor extensions available as a part of the OpenAI Gym Shadow-Dexterous-Hand robotics environments.
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