AWS today launched IoT RoboRunner, a new tool for creating apps that allow big fleets of robots operate together, to kick off re:Invent, the cloud computing giant’s flagship conference. This new service seeks to provide the infrastructure needed to develop the work and fleet management apps needed to run robot fleets like those used by Amazon in its warehouses.
A new robotics accelerator program also unveiled today the business. RoboRunner’s key functionality is to assist developers in creating and managing apps that interact with robots from various manufacturers. AWS claims that it is currently too difficult to combine robots from different suppliers into a single system, leaving businesses with many silos in which to manage their robots, making it impossible to design applications in which these heterogeneous fleets collaborate.
RoboRunner gives developers a centralized data store for their entire fleet, as well as a registry for modeling all of the destinations in a facility and a register for keeping track of all of the duties these robots complete. Large industrial firms with fleets of automated guided vehicles, mobile robots, and robotic arms are the target customers for this service.
AWS also unveiled a new robotics startup accelerator, the AWS Robotics Startup Accelerator, in conjunction with MassRobotics, in addition to RoboRunner. In today’s announcement, AWS CTO Werner Vogels says, “Today, there are just a few successful commercial robotics businesses, and there are a few key reasons for this.” “First, finding a fit in the robotics product market is tough since real-world situations are dynamic and unexpected, making it difficult to match the proper niche with the correct skills.”
Second, creating robots with a high level of autonomy and intelligence necessitates the acquisition of diverse abilities, which are difficult to come by and recruit. Third, even when sensors, actuators, and mechanical hardware are already commercially accessible, robotics is capital intensive and necessitates a considerable upfront investment in sensors, actuators, and mechanical hardware.”
The new initiative is accessible to firms with less than $10 million in sales and less than $100 million in funding. The winning organizations will receive specialized training and mentoring from robotics specialists, as well as up to $10,000 in Amazon Web Services credits.