It is our pleasure to announce the first public release of Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine. Rapyuta is an open source cloud robotics platform for robots. It implements a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) framework designed specifically for robotics applications.
Rapyuta helps robots to offload heavy computation by providing secured customizable computing environments in the cloud. Robots can start their own computational environment, launch any computational node uploaded by the developer, and communicate with the launched nodes using the WebSockets protocol.
The above figure shows a simplified overview of the Rapyuta framework: Each robot connected to Rapyuta has a secured computing environment (rectangular boxes) giving them the ability to move their heavy computation into the cloud. Computing environments have a high bandwidth connection to the RoboEarth knowledge repository (stacked circular disks). This allows robots to process data directly inside the computational environment in the cloud without the need for downloading and local processing. Furthermore, computing environments are tightly interconnected with each other. This paves the way for the deployment of robotic teams.
The name Rapyuta is inspired from the movie Tenku no Shiro Rapyuta (English title: Castle in the Sky) by Hayao Miyazaki, where Rapyuta is the castle in the sky inhabited by robots.
To learn more and contribute to this open-source effort, visit: http://rapyuta.org/.
At this year’s PICNIC Festival in Amsterdam, RoboEarth held a joint workshop on Robots and the Internet of Things (IoT) with Council, a think tank part of the High Level Expert Group (EG IoT) on the Internet of Things of the European Commission.
The event met with unexpectedly high attendance, resulting in a room packed with an interested and engaged audience and resulting in lively discussion and debate. The main topics centered on how robots could enrich our lives through the Internet and the challenges both communities face to make a vision where the Internet gets hands through robots, and robots greatly benefit from the Internet become a reality.
As the chairman Rob van Kranenburg introduced: “Rather than programming robots to handle every potential situation, the Internet of Things could create an environment in which the objects themselves inform robots of their purpose and usage. Tomorrow’s smart objects can provide sensing, robots can act, processing can be on the robot or in the Cloud. To accomplish this, the fields of robotics and IoT need to define common standards for knowledge storage, representation and communication.”
The topics of debate had clear connection points, and pointed to potential future research questions for RoboEarth, including:
- Tomorrow’s smart objects can provide sensing, robots can act, processing can be on the robot or in the Cloud (e.g., using RoboEarth’s Cloud Engine)
- Rather than programming robots to handle every potential situation, the Internet of Things could create an environment in which the objects themselves inform robots of their purpose and usage.
- Both the IoT and RoboEarth encode knowledge. The fields of robotics and IoT need to define common standards for knowledge storage and representation.
- The IoT, robots, and humans need to communicate. The fields of robotics and IoT need to define interfaces and common standards for communication.
For more information, have a look at the article Enlisting Robots – Once robots are integrated into the Internet of Things, they can perform tasks automatically published in the RFID Journal.
Update (Feb 27, 2013):
Even more information can be found in the article The Internet of Things: Robots, RFID & Co-operation published in the December 2012 issue of Elektor.
This second meeting focused on getting feedback on the project’s direction at its half-way point. Thanks to all participants, in particular to the members of the committee for their participation and valueable feedback.
We gladly announce that the conference paper submission called “The RoboEarth language: Representing and Exchanging Knowledge about Actions, Objects, and Environments” (Moritz Tenorth, Alexander Perzylo, Reinhard Lafrenz and Michael Beetz) has won the Best Cognitive Robotics Paper Award at ICRA 2012.
The paper covers the design of the semantic RoboEarth language and how it is used to describe and reason about tasks, objects and environments in a way that allows to share knowledge between different robots. Descriptions of tasks include information about required physical attributes and software components, which is being matched against a robot’s capabilities entailed in its semantic self-model. This allows to infer whether a robot is capable of performing a certain task and if not, how it might be enabled by downloading additional information from RoboEarth.
The 5th International Conference on Cognitive Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, on February 23 – 24, 2012.
The conference aimed at presenting the state-of-the-art in cognitive systems and robotics. It showed European research efforts being made in this field and provided an opportunity for open discussions.
Part of the lively interaction was a talk given by Heico Sandee about the RoboEarth project. It covers how robots can exchange knowledge through RoboEarth and how to determine whether the knowledge might be useful for a specific robot or not.
In order to watch the talk in full length (~18 min.) please follow the link below.
Heico Sandee – RoboEarth: Connecting robots world-wide
RoboEarth is co-organizing a Special Issue on
Cloud Robotics and Automation in the Journal
IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE).
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2014
For more information visit T-ASE
(Cloud Robotics - Special Issue).
Part of the Cognitive Systems and Robotics Initiative from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013.