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.
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.
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.
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.
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