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Personal robot industry v3


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Personal robot industry v3

  1. 1. Personal Robot Industry? Rev. 1.0 Monday, April 05, 2010
  2. 2. About the author  Author: LCC  Blog   (mainly in Chinese)  MSN:  Email: or
  3. 3. Where the idea came from
  4. 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. 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: -overview
  6. 6. From PC to PR
  7. 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. 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. 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. 10. …… Wash dishes Cloud server Fold towers Close windows PR2 PR2 PR2 PR2
  11. 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. 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. 13. A consumer’s shopping process
  14. 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. 15. Benefits of the idea
  16. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 21. Some obstacles
  22. 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. 23. Bandwidth  Bandwidth will be a scarce resource in the near future.
  24. 24. In summary
  25. 25. Cloud system Server A Server B Wireless connection Local robot PR4 PR2 PR2 PR3
  26. 26. Industrial chain PR industry Wireless industry  Algorithm operators  Operators: Android Market  Hardware manufacturers  Hardware: Droid or HTC G1  Customers  Customers
  27. 27.  Local robot  Basic control module  Information collection module: eyes etc.  Etc.  Cloud system  Super brain shared by thousands of robots
  28. 28. To be completed Rev. 2.0