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November 26, 2018updated 27 Nov 2018 5:32pm

AWS Launches RoboMaker, Wants You to Build Cloud-Connected Robots

"Customers [have been spending] lot of time setting up infrastructure and cobbling together software for different stages of the robotics development cycle"

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon just took the world’s favourite open source Robot Operating System (ROS) and plugged it into its AWS cloud environment, to create a new service dubbed RoboMaker.

Its vision: cloud-connected robots with milisecond latency and the whole panoply of AWS services available to them, from data analytics to sophisticated image recognition.

AWS RoboMaker can be used to build robots, add intelligent functions, simulate and test robotics applications in a range of environments, and manage and update robot fleets, the company said, announcing the release in Las Vegas at its Re:Invent conference.

AWS extensions for the ROS middleware include video stream ingestion, Amazon’s deep learning-based image recognition service, speech recognition, speech generation, and its CloudWatch logging and monitoring, the cloud services giant said.

The release comes after the ROS community rebuilt ROS from scratch, releasing ROS2, with support from contributors like Amazon and Intel.

See also: Chinese Next-Gen Delivery Robots Will Use NVIDIA’s Jetson AGX Xavier

Wary of the criticism that it is cannibalising, then unevenly profiting from open source projects, AWS said it has made both source code and documentation of the RoboMaker cloud extensions for ROS publicly available under the terms of the Apache Software License 2.0.

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It also contributes to the development of the latest version of ROS (ROS2), and is a member of the ROS2 Technical Steering Committee, the company added.

AWS RoboMaker: Taps ROS, But Amazon Says its Contributing too…

AWS said its contributions to ROS2 include real-time messaging, security, and authentication, as well as working with the robotics community to migrate source code packages from ROS1 to ROS2. Intel, meanwhile, is leading work on ROS2’s navigation stack.

“When talking to our customers, we see the same pattern repeated over and again. They spend a lot of time setting up infrastructure and cobbling together software for different stages of the robotics development cycle, repeating work others have done before, leaving less time for innovation,” said Roger Barga, General Manager, AWS RoboMaker in a release shared Monday.

“AWS RoboMaker provides pre-built functionality to support robotics developers during their entire project, making it significantly easier to build robots, simulate performance in various environments, iterate faster, and drive greater innovation.”

AWS RoboMaker comes provided with pre-built worlds, such as indoor rooms, retail stores, and racing tracks, so developers can test their applications on-demand and run multiple simulations in parallel.


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