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What is Cloud Robotics

Dec 18, 2018

Cloud Robotics can be broadly defined as any robot that relies on data or code from a network to support its operation, i.e. where not all sensing, computation, and memory are integrated into a single standalone system[1]. The ability of a cloud robotics system to constantly share and process information enables the components operating locally on the robot to be more productive and less expensive. Advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) further enable the system to gather data from many sources. And with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to process the collective data, the entire system can benefit.

AI services aim at learning and reasoning in ways that only humans could do so in the past. However, we do need the cloud for this, as it is just not possible to run sophisticated algorithms on the processors commonly used in robots today. Machine learning algorithms require the processing power of the cloud to effectively process the large data sets generated by multiple sensors in robots.

Cloud robotics and AI are the two major trends that are revolutionising what robots cost and how robots behave. The merge of these trends in Noos enables us to change the concept of what a robot is. Noos extends the notion of a robot as an autonomous mobile machine to that of a proxy for a powerful and intelligent system that resides on the cloud and can support daily human activities through a multitude of mobile and stationary devices.

The time for wide deployment of cloud robotics is fast approaching: even though conventional speeds, frequencies, and power are currently not sufficient for wireless (and, to a large extent, cloud) robotics, 5G comes to change this. Standing for “fifth generation,” 5G represents the next set of standards for broadband communications, and could deliver download speeds as high as 10,000 Mbps, nearly eliminating latency issues. It also has the ability to power multiple devices with different operating requirements. With 5G, robots will finally be able to step out into the world. While that may be understandably scary for some, it also opens up a multitude of opportunities.

[1] According to Ken Goldberg, robotics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the first person to connect a robot to the internet together with Joseph Santarromana in 1995,