March 03, 2011
Robotics is anything but a static field with a continuous stream of advancements adding to both the compexity and possibility behind each new development. A new subfield--“cloud robotics”--is emerging as a hot topic in research. As one might imagine, instead of relying on "in-house" resources, robots can potentially leverage the cloud to deliver instant information and to handle computationally-intensive tasks that would otherwise use a great deal of a robots on-board system.
Erico Guizzo from IEEE’s Spectrum pointed out that while we are unable to upload information directly into our “meat brains” to have instant access to information to help us perform tasks (ala The Matrix) robots have that advantage.
Recent research projects are leveraging information stored in the great vast cloud to enable robots to quickly acquire the skills and knowledge they need in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, the notion of cloud-driven robots means that there is the possibility for a robot to cast off heavy-duty computation to the cloud so that it can free up resources for other tasks, thus providing the opportunity for added sophistication due to more resources becoming available.
As Guizzo reported, there are a number of research groups that are exploring the idea of “robots that rely on cloud computing infrastructure to access vast amounts of processing power and data. This approach, which some are calling ‘cloud robotics’ would allow robots to off-load compute-intensive tasks like image processing and voice recognition and even download new skills instantly, Matrix-style.”
One of the more promising aspects of this idea goes beyond the “cool” factor of offloading and instant skill “level-up” via cloud-stored information. This also means that robots can decrease in size since so many are forced to carry extensive on-board computation—a serious task considering the computationally-intensive tasks that most robots perform.
In addition to the computers they need to schlep around are some seriously heavy-duty power sources, most often in the form of batteries to keep the computation and movement humming along. Reduced need for extensive on-board computation means less power usage—which combined means the possibility for much smaller robots.
Full story at IEEE Spectrum
Large-scale, worldwide scientific initiatives rely on some cloud-based system to both coordinate efforts and manage computational efforts at peak times that cannot be contained within the combined in-house HPC resources. Last week at Google I/O, Brookhaven National Lab’s Sergey Panitkin discussed the role of the Google Compute Engine in providing computational support to ATLAS, a detector of high-energy particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Frank Ding, engineering analysis & technical computing manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, discussed the advantages of utilizing the cloud for occasional scientific computing, identified the obstacles to doing so, and proposed workarounds to some of those obstacles.
The private industry least likely to adopt public cloud services for data storage are financial institutions. Holding the most sensitive and heavily-regulated of data types, personal financial information, banks and similar institutions are mostly moving towards private cloud services – and doing so at great cost.
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04/02/2012 | AMD | Developers today are just beginning to explore the potential of heterogeneous computing, but the potential for this new paradigm is huge. This brief article reviews how the technology might impact a range of application development areas, including client experiences and cloud-based data management. As platforms like OpenCL continue to evolve, the benefits of heterogeneous computing will become even more accessible. Use this quick article to jump-start your own thinking on heterogeneous computing.