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AWS RoboMaker Launches 

 August 19, 2020

By  Mike Oitzman

Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches their new AWS RoboMaker application this week. RoboMaker enables robot designers to create a new virtual robot design and then create virtual worlds to test run the robot.

What AWS has done is to simplify the process of creating and managing the virtual test environments for the robot. During the annual AWS Cloud Robotics Summit this week, AWS introduced the new RoboMaker World Forge functionality.

A slide with data about mobile robot market

This slide is from the keynote presentation at the AWS Cloud Robotics Summit (Image courtesy of Roger Barga and AWS Robotics)

You can view the entirety of Roger Barga's keynote presentation.

AWS perfected the RoboMaker World Forge functionality over the last couple of years with the AWS DeepRacer competition. This was a competition to see who could program a virtual autonomous vehicle to drive the fastest around a track. The system uses AI to help improve the driving capabilities. 

AWS Virtual World managagement

This screenshot from AWS virtual world management illustrates how AWS World Forge simplifies the process of generating and managing virtual test environments (image courtesy of AWS)

Part of the "magic" with World Forge is that you can specify how many worlds (or rooms) you'd like to create and then set a "variation factor" that automatically modifies environment factors like furniture in the room.

A side by side comparison of two different room configurations with AWS World Forge

This image illustrates how different room configurations can automatically be generated with AWS World Forge. (image courtesy of AWS World Forge)

AWS World Forge enables the user to select different types of furniture and the furniture density as part of the generation process. The example that the team used was with a commercial room vacuum cleaning robot. The generation of hundreds of virtual rooms enables testing of navigation and localization algorithms, without having to setup and deploy a robot in the "real world". 

This concept will become fundamental to the testing of new types of autonomous mobile robots in the future. Amazon Cloud Services is betting on this opportunity where Amazon is uniquely qualified to deliver the underlying cloud services to support virtual training and evaluation.

A screenshot from AWS World Forge showing the room furniture selection parameters.

A screenshot from AWS World Forge showing the room furniture selection parameters. (image courtesy of AWS World Forge)

The AWS Cloud Robotics Sessions were packed full of interesting information. The presentations and session recording are archived online. You can view the presentations with the links below:


Keynote: The role of cloud and open source software in the future of robotics

Speakers: Roger Barga, GM for AWS Robotics; Brian Gerkey, Co-founder of Open Robotics

Simplifying Simulation Worlds Creation For Gazebo

Speakers: Ray Zhu, Lead Product Manager for AWS Robotics; Sam Gundry, Lead AWS RoboMaker Engineer for AWS Robotics

ROS 2 Foxy: Production Robotics Using Open Source Software

Speaker: Katherine Scott, Developer Advocate for Open Robotics

Common Simulation Use Cases And Patterns With AWS RoboMaker

Speaker: Jeremy Wallace, Senior Solutions Architect for AWS Robotics

About the author 

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman brings 25 years of product management and product marketing experience to the role of publisher and editor for Mobile Robot Guide. Mike is a respected expert in the mobile robot market and is a frequent panel leader and speaker at events and tradeshows.

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