Google IO Cloud Robotics With PR2 Robot From Willow Garage

Cloud robotics makes use of cloud services to expand the capabilities of robots. Robots can make use of mapping and navigation services that already exist in the cloud; they can also make use of voice and text recognition services. Generally speaking, small and compact robots can make use of unlimited processing power in the cloud. Note that computing power is very power intensive; you can double the battery life of PR2 by removing one of its two computers, and doing the computation in the cloud.

Smarter robots, thanks to services already existent in the cloud.

The video stars the PR2 robot from Willow Garage; it shows updates to an earlier story PR2 Laundry-Folding Robot, demonstrating a significant increase in folding speed thanks to the cloud. More recently, the doughty PR2 robot wandered 100 km autonomously.

Check out this picture of PR2 using laser sensor data uploaded to the cloud to create a picture of the audience at Google IO.


(PR2 robot laser sensing)

Learn more in this video from Google IO 2011: be sure to take a look at the robotic cloud learning demonstration at 33:00, in which robots are taught to recognize objects quickly using cell phone pictures. If one robot learns to recognize an object, within a few minutes, they can all recognize that object - thanks to the cloud.


(Google cloud robotics talk at Google IO 2011)

Science fiction fans may recall that in the 2004 movie I, Robot, the most advanced robots, the NS5's, had a special feature: additional software and instructions could be downloaded wirelessly to individual robots. NS5's receiving a download show a red glow in the chest cavity.


(Middle NS5 Robot Gets A Download)

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