Personal robot industry

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  • 1. Personal Robot Industry? Rev. 1.0 Monday, April 05, 2010
  • 2. About the author  Author: LCC (Senior Student of BUPT)  Blog: www.techfans.net (mainly in Chinese)  MSN: pekinlcc@live.cn  Email: pekinlcc@126.com or pekinlcc@gmail.com  LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/profile?viewProfile=&key=381 18923&trk=tab_pro  Another website of LCC: www.infolism.com
  • 3. Where the idea came from
  • 4.  When I first saw ‘PR2 robot folding towels’, I was so interested in it.  Then I read ‘CNET Crave: Towel-folding robot won't do the dishes’, it says: ‘Still, the experiment shows that general-purpose humanoid robots, with all-purpose manipulators, can be successfully programmed for practical tasks around the home.’  So I wander: how can we have PR2 do different things without changing its program each time? Then the idea appears and I want it to be shared to you.
  • 5. About PR2  The PR2 is an open and robust robot platform designed from the ground up for software developers and researchers. By eliminating the need to first build a hardware system and then re-implement code, the PR2 allows software experts to immediately create new functionality on the robot.  The PR2 robot is fully integrated with ROS, providing the power of all the ROS developer tools and out-of-the-box functionality for everything from full system calibration to manipulation.  Please join the pr2-announce mailing list for updates.  Quote:http://www.willowgarage.com/pages/robots/pr2 -overview
  • 6. From PC to PR
  • 7.  To some extent, the flourish of the PC industry is a result of clear division of labor. Software companies like Microsoft and hardware companies like HP cooperate together and carry the industry and technologies forward.
  • 8. Analogy PC PR  Hardware platform:  Hardware platform: PR2 Computer etc.  Software platform: Windows  Software platform: ??????????  Software: Firefox can surfing the internet, MSN  Software: Designed by can keep friends connected researchers for a special mission
  • 9. Put all the algorithms for different tasks in the cloud server  If PR2 become the industry standard hardware platform for PR, how can we have a PR2 do different things without change the programs inside it?  We can put all the algorithms for different tasks in a cloud server. Then each time a PR2 want to do a new task, it just connect to the server and get the right algorithm it want. See the flow chart.
  • 10. …… Wash dishes Cloud server Fold towers Close windows PR2 PR2 PR2 PR2
  • 11. Why not setup a company just run the cloud server?  Now, the cloud server’s role in PR industry just like the Windows in the PC industry.  Company A holds a cloud server, and most algorithm in this server are for housework. These algorithms are provided by programmers all around the world.  There can be many companies providing all kinds of algorithms that can help the PR2 execute all kinds tasks.
  • 12. Company Company A ……… Cloud server A Housework Company B $200/Year Cloud server B Assembly line work $3000/Year PR2 PR2 PR2 PR2 PR2 PR2 PR2
  • 13. A consumer’s shopping process
  • 14. Change the brain of your robot whenever you want  The cloud server are paid by days or years, the consumers can change the brain of their robot (cloud server) anytime they want.
  • 15. Benefits of the idea
  • 16. 1: the PR2 can be more cheaper  In this idea, the tasks are computed on the cloud in fact. So the PR2 don't have to be equipped a very strong CPU. The local CPU only have to collect the information on a task scene and control the PR2 to execute the commands sent from the server.  Thus, the PR2 can be made smaller and cheaper.
  • 17. 2: Faster computing  Absolutely, the cloud server’s performance on computing must be far better than a local computing system.  A question which the local CPU needs to compute for days can be handled in seconds.
  • 18. 3: Clear division of labor  Clear division of labor may cause a series of revolutions in the PR industry.  The hardware manufacturers produce PR2 just as the industry hardware. And the cloud brain companies can focus on developing new and better algorithms.
  • 19. 4: Unified Control  If one day, the robots really rebel, we just need to damage the cloud servers….  And the robot network can be controlled just as a broadcasting system.
  • 20. 5: Many other advantages just like Cloud Computing  Computing resources can be made well use of.  The computing resources can be paid by need.  ……………………..
  • 21. Some obstacles
  • 22. Safety  Yes, safety is absolutely the most significant issue about this idea. How to keep the PR2’s connection to the server safety?  However, we cannot give up internet because of viruses.
  • 23. Bandwidth  Bandwidth will be a scarce resource in the near future.
  • 24. In summary
  • 25. Cloud system Server A Server B Wireless connection Local robot PR4 PR2 PR2 PR3
  • 26. Industrial chain PR industry Wireless industry  Algorithm operators  Operators: Android Market  Hardware manufacturers  Hardware: Droid or HTC G1  Customers  Customers
  • 27.  Local robot  Basic control module  Information collection module: eyes etc.  Etc.  Cloud system  Super brain shared by thousands of robots
  • 28. To be completed Rev. 2.0