RaaS or Robotics as a Service and Cloud Robotics are two new models that combine robotics with Cloud Computing. Find out everything you need to know about it.
Because of the many benefits they bring, cloud services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses in all industries. In fact, service providers respond to demand by offering an ever more diversified offer.
The first categories of cloud services, and the most used to date, are SaaS (software as a service) , PaaS (platforms as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service). However, to support the digital transformation of businesses, cloud services are offered for new technologies . This is for example the case of automation, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, but also robotics.
RaaS or Robotics as a Cloud Service: Definition
Robotics as a Service (RaaS) is a model that combines cloud computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and shared services . This template allows users to store data collected by robots on the cloud.
For example, robots located in different locations such as warehouses or stores are connected to the internet and the data they collect is transmitted directly to a centralized cloud storage system . This makes it easy and quick to access and process data. RaaS is particularly useful for companies that manage fleets of several hundred robots performing different tasks.
The RaaS concept also integrates robot rental services . These services allow companies to rent robots and subscribe to a cloud service rather than having to buy such machines. This allows users to save money, but also to gain flexibility.
Cloud Robotics: what is it?
Parallel to RaaS, another concept marrying the Cloud to robotics is Cloud Robotics . It is about using the resources of Cloud Computing to increase the memory, computing power, collective learning and interconnectivity of robotic applications. Thus, when computing or storage power requirements exceed the capacity of the robot, it is possible to exploit the massive resources of a data center via the cloud.
In addition, the cloud also speeds up the learning of robots . For example, if a robot needs 150 hours to learn a task using its own artificial intelligence resources, the collaboration between 150 robots can allow the AI to learn how to perform the different parts of a task in hardly an hour. Robots can indeed share their knowledge via the cloud. This interconnection also allows them to better coordinate.
The connection to the Cloud also allows the robot to access an extensive library of objects to learn to identify the elements that make up its environment. Object recognition can then enable the robot to more efficiently perform tasks such as sorting, cleaning, or using devices.
In addition, the exploitation of Cloud resources makes it possible to involve robots by reducing their computing power and the associated cooling power systems . Robots can be lighter, cheaper, and more autonomous.
In general, Cloud Robotics is used for tasks that do not need to be executed in real time . Thus, local resources can be preserved for more urgent tasks.
RaaS and Cloud Robotics: some examples
Among the various suppliers of RaaS, there are companies like Aethon, Locus Robotics, Savioke, Sarcos Robotics, or Redwood Robotics . The latter offers its customers a Cloud solution and preprogrammed rental robots to enable them to enjoy the benefits of robotics more easily, cheaply, and flexibly.
In the coming years, RaaS services will multiply. By 2026, ABI Reserach estimates that the RaaS market will reach a value of 34 billion dollars against 217 million dollars in 2016.
With regard to Cloud Robotics, there are several examples. For example, Google’s autonomous cars are a type of cloud-connected robot . They access Google Maps data and images stored on the cloud to recognize their environment. In addition, they collect traffic and traffic information and transmit it to the cloud. Note that Google Cloud will launch its platform dedicated to robotics in 2019 .
A further example is that of Romo : a small robot connected to the Cloud to $ 150. The device uses the computing power, the camera, the microphone and the speakers of the iPhone to which it is connected. Thanks to the Cloud, the robot is able to better recognize its environment. It can be used to play games, or for telepresence purposes.