Cloud-based Internet for Robots

March 16, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

After the internet, what? How about an internet for robots? That’s just what some European scientists have come up with – a cloud-based platform for robots based on the RoboEarth Cloud Engine they’ve developed.

The new platform expand on the research done on allowing robots to share knowledge with other robots via a WWW-style database, greatly speeding up robot learning and adaptation in complex tasks.

This platform for robots allows them to perform complex functions like mapping, navigation, or processing of human voice commands in the cloud, at a fraction of the time required by robots controlled by onboard computers.

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By making enterprise-scale computing infrastructure available to any robot with a wireless connection, the researchers believe that the new computing platform will help pave the way towards lighter, cheaper, more intelligent robots.

The RoboEarth Cloud Engine is particularly useful for mobile robots, such as drones or autonomous cars, which require lots of computation for navigation. It also offers significant benefits for robot co-workers, such as factory robots working alongside humans, which require large knowledge databases, and for the deployment of robot teams.

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Heico Sandee, RoboEarth’s program manager at the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands, said that with the rapid increase in wireless data rates caused by the booming demand of mobile communications devices, more and more of a robot’s computational tasks can be moved into the cloud.

More importantly, will it affect the employment opportunities of humans? Apparently not. Yes, it indeed cuts down human effort, but it creates more jobs than it slashes down.

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