Personal Robot Industry?
Monday, April 05, 2010
About the author
www.techfans.net (mainly in Chinese)
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where the idea came from
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.
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.
From PC to PR
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
Hardware platform: Hardware platform: PR2
Software platform: ??????????
Software: Firefox can
surfing the internet, MSN Software: Designed by
can keep friends connected researchers for a special
Put all the algorithms for
different tasks in the cloud server
If PR2 become the industry
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.
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.
Company A ………
Cloud server A
Housework Company B
$200/Year Cloud server B
Assembly line work
A consumer’s shopping
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.
Benefits of the idea
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.
2: Faster computing
Absolutely, the cloud server’s performance on
computing must be far better than a local computing
A question which the local CPU needs to compute for
days can be handled in seconds.
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.
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
5: Many other advantages just
like Cloud Computing
Computing resources can be made well use of.
The computing resources can be paid by need.
Yes, safety is absolutely the most significant issue about
this idea. How to keep the PR2’s connection to the
However, we cannot give up internet because of viruses.
Bandwidth will be a scarce resource in the near future.
Server A Server B
PR industry Wireless industry
Algorithm operators Operators: Android Market
Hardware manufacturers Hardware: Droid or HTC G1
Basic control module
Information collection module: eyes etc.
Super brain shared by thousands of robots