Photokina 2014 highlights

RoboEarth Cloud Engine ready for use

By

March 15, 2013

Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine allows robots to perform complex data processing in th...

Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine allows robots to perform complex data processing in the cloud (Image: Shutterstock)

For the past few years, a consortium of six European research institutes has been collaborating on a project known as RoboEarth. Essentially a “worldwide web for robots,” the idea is that it will allow robots to access a shared online database of each others’ software, thus allowing them to learn how to perform new tasks from one another. The first phase of the project, Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine, is now up and running.

Named after a fictional castle in the sky inhabited by robots, Rapyuta’s main purpose is to allow robots’ data-processing functions to be performed in the cloud. This means that the robots themselves won’t require as much onboard computational hardware, and will thus be lighter, less expensive and more robust.

Each robot using the service has its own secure cloud-based computing environment. Using a wireless connection, the robot uploads data to that environment, where it’s processed at a rate that’s reportedly much faster than would be possible using robot-based hardware. The results are then downloaded back to the robot, which acts upon them.

Additionally, the environments of different robots can be linked together, allowing them to work as a team. Plans call for each environment to also be linked to the RoboEarth knowledge repository, allowing robots to draw upon the system’s “collected wisdom” when necessary.

Rapyuta would be most useful for particularly complex tasks, such as mapping, navigation, and human voice command recognition. It’s been suggested that it would be particularly useful for mobile robots, that require a lot of computational power for navigation.

A basic overview of the system is provided in the video below.

Sources: RoboEarth, ETH Zurich

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
10 Comments

Cool, I always fancy about more spies in the private spaces. NOT!

Kris Lee
16th March, 2013 @ 01:40 pm PDT

Is anyone else thinking Skynet?

Kim Mckay
17th March, 2013 @ 05:05 pm PDT

Has Arnold Schwarzenegger taught us nothing?

Morné Olderwagen
17th March, 2013 @ 11:29 pm PDT

We all know we'd take one in a flash.

But what anti I,Robot fail-safes are there.

The Three Laws of Robotics (often shortened to The Three Laws or Three Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov.

The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround", although they had been foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws are:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

THESE LAWS MUST BE NOT BE OVERWRITTEN AND KEPT "OFF THE GRID", STOPPING THE CLOUD FROM TAKING OVER.

Also, I wrist-mounted kill switch would be nice, or an EMP :)

Seth Kazzim
18th March, 2013 @ 07:44 am PDT

Dumb idea. They're going to take over someday, sooner than you think.

JAT
18th March, 2013 @ 10:31 am PDT

I agree with Kim Mckay... skynet... definitely.

Eddie Hagler
18th March, 2013 @ 11:40 am PDT

Yeah... what @Seth Kazzim wrote. I, Robot and worse is the first thing I thought about. And based on how successful hackers and viruses have been -- and how much better they're getting, all of a sudden -- and how well they've leveraged the very same cloud about which this article speaks...

...I suspect that violating Azimov's rules would be the very FIRST goal of the hackers/malware writers who'd be trying to make such as I, Robot, and worse, come true... just for the sport of it.

Some lines we should not cross. But, alas, cross them we will. Fortunately at my age (56), I actually stand half a chance of never living to see it... or much else of the mostly global-warming-related awfulness that's clearly headed our way.

Gregg DesElms
18th March, 2013 @ 04:01 pm PDT

@Gregg DesElms, your robo-vacum will find your lifeless body, hook-up to skynet and learn how to perform CPR and make damn well sure you're around to see it...after all Law 1 demands it.

John Green
18th March, 2013 @ 08:15 pm PDT

Public databases would have to be more limited than google as the robots will learn too quickly.

Miks Stiefel
19th March, 2013 @ 12:43 am PDT

Hahaha its funny how you draw such conclusions based on a movie , heck we would be zipping around like Skywalker to the Dagobah system if all the shit there came true.

Dhananjay Sathe
10th April, 2013 @ 08:00 am PDT
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 28,534 articles