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RoboBusiness 2019 Recap

Florian Pestoni

The InOrbit team recently had a chance to showcase Mission Control, our cloud-based robot management platform, at RoboBusiness. This event has become one of the most important in the industry, attracting the most innovative robotics companies as well as a business audience hungry for technology to help tackle some of the hardest problems across different industries.

We had a really busy week, including co-organizing the first face-to-face meeting of the Robot Operations Working Group, presenting on stage in front of +100 people at Pitchfire, and moderating a panel on Best Practices for Robotics Operations at Scale, with great panelists from Brain Corp, Qualcomm and Service Robotics & Technologies.

We also had a lot of fun preparing our demo for the show. Check out the video below.

 

Since the work we do is somewhat abstract (see Bridging the Autonomy Gap), we wanted to make it more concrete, so we built a mini-grocery store/warehouse we called “Brickmart” … out of Legos, of course. Our engineering team heavily modified a TurtleBot3 running ROS, including adding support for multiple HD cameras with hardware video encoding and upgrading to a Raspberry Pi 4. As if this wasn’t enough, our team had InOrbit running on the recently released Qualcomm® Robotics RB3 platform.

Our unique and colorful display, with two autonomous robots, generated a lot of interest. People stopped for the cool demo, but stayed for the business value: we were demonstrating how InOrbit’s real-time analytics and incident management can improve robot fleet efficiency. With a personalized experience for business executives, robot operations managers and individual operators (we like to call them roboteers), InOrbit allows monitoring overall fleet health and resolving issues remotely.

We showed how, in response to an autonomy exception such as a false positive from the obstacle detection algorithm due to a reflection or a mis-localization, InOrbit allows a roboteer to get instantaneous situational awareness, re-localize the robot in seconds, decide to resume operations with a single click or take more active steps, such as setting waypoints for the robot to navigate around a (real or imagined) obstacle.

As a way to show off our engineering chops, and to make it even more fun for attendees, we also demonstrated low-latency video streaming and real-time teleoperation through the cloud with a gaming steering wheel. Whle this may not be as much fun as the latest Forza racing video game, it is pretty cool to show how people and autonomy can be combined to achieve results that neither could on their own.

If you’d like to get a personalized demo of InOrbit, schedule one at inorbit.ai.