‘Robots Are Part Of A Company’s Digital Transformation’

Robots are not just useful for carrying out tasks, said Roger Barga, general manager and director of development of Robotics and Autonomous Services at Amazon Web Services.

“They’re actually part of a company company’s digital transformation,” he said. “They get data digitally about what’s going on in your operations, which you can then use to optimize your operations.”

Barga has been in his role for just over one and a half years, leading AWS development of tools to build, simulate, deploy and manage intelligent robotics applications at scale.

His team, which builds on the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) middleware and contributes open-source software to the newer industrial-grade ROS2 version, released its first cloud robotics service— AWS RoboMaker—in November.

RoboMaker is DevOps for robotics, according to Barga. It provides a robotics development environment for application development, a robotics simulation service to accelerate application testing, and a robotics fleet management service for remote application deployments, updates and management. It extends ROS with connectivity to AWS cloud services including machine learning, monitoring and analytics that allow a robot to stream data, navigate, communicate, comprehend and learn.

AWS recently added two new RoboMaker features. AWS RoboMaker now supports configurable timeouts in over-the-air deployments. Developers can configure the timeout durations of deployment jobs—from one minute to seven days—to prevent undue delays or premature failures so updates and deployments can be completed.

RoboMaker also now supports log-based simulation, event-driven simulation termination and simulation event tagging, allowing developers to easily run a large number of automated simulations for use cases including regression testing, parameter tuning and machine-learning model training.

CRN sat down with Barga this month at AWS’ Seattle headquarters for a wide-ranging conversation about robotics…

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