Robots & Cloud: How Consumer Robots Could Become a Reality

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A new report released by Frost & Sullivan details the state of cloud robotics. The report, which is entitled Empowering Robots via Cloud Computing explores all of the possibilities that the future holds for robots and cloud.
Why exactly would a robot need cloud services in the first place? The cloud provides an unlimited amount of space for a robot to store and retrieve data. Since the robot would be accessing computational power and storage space in the cloud, robotics engineers can focus on productivity and efficiency. Since much of the computational and storage power is stored in the cloud, Frost & Sullivan forecasts that a consumer robot powered by cloud could become a reality.
Robots being powered by cloud computing is still within its infancy, however, the industry is certainly starting to gain momentum. Google, IBM and others have invested significant amounts of money into cloud robotics research.
“As cloud robotics moves beyond its nascent stage, numerous applications of these technologies will come to the fore,” says research analyst Debarun Guha Thakurta. “For the moment, healthcare, transportation, consumer robotics and manufacturing are areas that can benefit from the use of shared resources and the elimination of the need to manage or update robotics software.”
The major barrier for a cloud connected robot is presence of internet. Without access to the internet, the robot can’t communicate with the cloud in order to retrieve the data it needs in order to function properly. Frost & Sullivan see a solution on the horizon.
“The convergence of cloud robotics with big data, context-aware computing and high-speed ubiquitous wireless networks, along with the use of advanced wireless sensors, could solve connectivity issues that slow response times; Operations that require the execution of tasks in real-time will also need service-oriented robots with on-board processing capabilities,” adds Thakurta.