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InfoQ Homepage News Amazon Launches AWS IoT RoboRunner for Robot Fleet Management Applications

Amazon Launches AWS IoT RoboRunner for Robot Fleet Management Applications

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Amazon recently announced the preview of AWS IoT RoboRunner, a new service to help companies build and deploy robotics management applications. Developed from technology already in use at Amazon warehouses, IoT RoboRunner provides infrastructure to connect fleets of robots and automation software.

The new service orchestrates work across operations, managing data types like location and robotic task data in a central repository. Channy Yun, principal developer advocate at AWS, explains how the new service can help robot operators:

Many customers choose different types of robots – often from different vendors in a single facility. Robot operators want to access the unified data required to build applications that work across a fleet of robots. However, when a new robot is added to an autonomous operation, complex and time-consuming software integration work is required to connect the robot control software to work management systems.

Connecting robots and different work management systems with the Fleet Manager and Task Manager libraries, the new service can orchestrate work through a single system view and address interoperability problems. Chip Childers, chief architect at Puppet, tweets:

The whole point of AWS IoT RoboRunner is to make application development for robots and robot fleets easier and faster. Lots of capital is flowing into startups that focus on fleet management, but I'm not seeing enough focus on software delivery into deployed devices.

Source: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/preview-aws-iot-roborunner-for-building-robot-fleet-management-applications

Multi-robot collaboration, health status monitoring and space management are among the suggested use cases for the new service. Developers can use the IoT RoboRunner's APIs to integrate new robot vendors and build management applications: once a customized task manager code has been developed and tested, it can be deployed as a Lambda function, while the fleet manager gateway code can run as an IoT Greengrass component.

Amazon wrote four RoboRunner tutorials to develop a custom task manager for fleet orchestration, develop a gateway that serves as a message routing layer, read robot and task status, and create a mission to monitor robot states. The centralized data repository includes three registries storing types of data: vehicle/fleet registry, destination registry and task registry.

The AWS IoT RoboRunner is an eventually consistent system and is available in preview in the us-east-1 and eu-central-1 regions. There are no additional costs to use the new service during the preview period.

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