Cloud Automation: Precomputing Roadmaps for Flexible Manipulation

TitleCloud Automation: Precomputing Roadmaps for Flexible Manipulation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBekris, KE, Shome, R, Krontiris, A, Dobson, A
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine
IssueSpecial Issue on "Emerging Advances and Applications in Automation"

This work aims to highlight the benefits of Cloud Automation, the opportunities that arise for industrial adopters and some of the research challenges that must be addressed in this process. The focus is on the use of cloud computing for efficiently planning the motion of new robot manipulators designed for flexible manufacturing floors. In particular, different ways that a robot can interact with a computing cloud are considered, where an architecture that splits computation between the remote cloud and the robot appears advantageous. Given this synergistic robot-cloud architecture, this work describes how solutions from the recent motion planning literature can be employed on the cloud during a periodically updated preprocessing phase to efficiently answer manipulation queries on the robot given changes in the workspace. In this setup, interesting tradeoffs arise between path quality and computational efficiency, which are evaluated in simulation. These tradeoffs motivate further research on how motion planning should be executed given access to a computing cloud.