Robotic systems are schooled through cloud computing.
esearchers working on multiple projects in
Cloud robotics is an emerging research field rooted in cloud computing, cloud storage and other technologies centered around the benefits of converged infrastructure and shared services, according to researchers with the recently completed RoboEarth project, which was funded primarily by the
Researchers with the RoboEarth project envision an Internet for robots that will allow systems to share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behavior and, ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction.
"The ultimate goal is to have an Internet for robots," explains Gajamohan Mohanarajah, a graduate student with the
Mohanarajah reports in his TEDx talk that current cutting-edge service robotic systems can be outwitted by a 5-year-old; are slow-moving; see poorly while outdoors; and can cost as much as five high-end sport utility vehicles. Mohanarajah compares the life of a robot to living alone in a cave and having only a short-term memory.
Funding for the RoboEarth project officially ended in
The RoboEarth project demonstrated that robotic systems can use the cloud to learn, share information and cooperate. Also, it identified remaining challenges, including a limited language for robots and storage scalability issues, Mohanarajah reports. He adds that the technology works best with systems that are alike. "With a humanoid robot and a robot that looks like a cheetah, for example, there are only a few things they can learn from each other, especially when it comes to physical motions. If you have a big common denominator, then the advantage of using RoboEarth would be more," he states.
He describes RoboEarth as the first project of its kind and says that although it has ended, researchers have identified areas of individual interest and will continue working independently. The software is open source and available for anyone to use. "It's not production-ready. It is coming out of the lab, so users would have to do some tweaking," he cautions, before offering to help anyone interested in adopting the research.
Mohanarajah cites Robohow as another project carrying on similar research. Robohow is coordinated by the
The Robohow website describes it as a four-year project that started in
With Robohow, humans may not be the only ones using
He adds that the Internet can be a powerful tool for robotic systems. "Once a robot is connected to the Internet, a few different things happen. Number one, you get a complete connection to other robots, so they can communicate. They can do a
The Learning from Demonstration for Cloud Robotics project seeks to use both crowdsourcing and cloud computing to allow robots to learn household tasks from remotely located humans. "The idea of this particular project is that if robots need a new behavior, people on the Internet can demonstrate by tele-operating the robot and showing how the robot can do the task. By this demonstration, the robot can learn what the behavior should be, and the next time it encounters the same situation, it can use the behavior," Gupta states. "A combination of crowdsourcing and cloud computing enables anybody in the whole world to participate in teaching the robot new behaviors."
Both Gupta and Mohanarajah agree cloud robotics research may someday benefit a wide range of systems performing an array of tasks, including potential military, homeland security or medical missions. But current research focuses on more practical tasks. "The reason our project uses household tasks is that there are lots of people out there who can teach the robot. There are not that many people who would have time to teach a robot to do, for example, a medical type of task," Gupta points out.
The NSF began funding the research in
Additionally, the interface for controlling the robots could be an issue. "In a household, if you have a specific task that requires very fine manipulation, you would need an interface that would allow people to do that task. Many tasks, such as chopping vegetables, require fine motion skills," he offers.
The NSF project is part of the National Robotics Initiative, a multi-agency investment in next-generation robotics research. The NSF has funded 30 new projects and invested
Gupta adds that cloud computing could have a huge influence on the future of robotics. "Traditionally the problem that robots have had is that they had limited computing power, so that meant that whatever had been programmed was all they could do. That would make robots behave not in an intelligent way," Gupta says.
Simon the robot was developed by
Researchers working on the RoboEarth project demonstrate a robot's ability to learn and cooperate with other robotic systems to serve medical patients. The project uses cloud computing to teach robots to perform tasks that seem intuitive for humans but are a challenge for robots.
To share or comment on this article go to httpj/uri.afcea. org/12663
Most Popular Stories
- GE Healthcare Bringing Jobs to Massachusetts
- Apple Stock Bounces Back Big Time
- Faith Groups Divest From Fossil Fuels
- Spiders Get Bigger, Reproduce Faster in Cities
- James Foley Beheading Video Is Real Thing: White House
- Entrepreneur Contest Announced in Idaho
- Why BofA Won't Pay $17 Billion After All
- Notes From the July FOMC Meeting
- James Foley Killer Could Be ID'd Via Social Media, Voice Recognition
- Obama Weighs Move on Legal Immigration