Cloud robotics is proving to be the most natural and efficient way to create and manage modern robotics technology. Robots are no longer limited to their physical, onboard components, instead, they are able to access an ever-broadening array of Internet resources.
Last year, I gave an interview with RoboticsTrends.com on the state of cloud robotics today and the projects we are involved in. I believe MyRobots.com will help lead the way in this new era of cloud robotics and social machines by bringing some basic functionality such as control and monitoring, big data and statistical analysis, sharing, learning, and planning.
In the interview, I made the case for running robots via cloud servers. When connected via the Internet, robots become augmented with the processing power of all the resources they are in touch with. This leads to better communication, and the ability of individual robots to outsource tasks to the global community of "machines".
While domestic robots are already present in many homes, users are not yet able to actively monitor their robot's status. MyRobots.com provides a single control center from which a person can monitor many robots at once to ensure that they complete their tasks. Diagnose and report algorithms for defective robots will be available soon to the general public via the cloud, so problems can be discovered in real-time. Hackers and roboticists can already build their own monitoring applications using the MyRobots.com recently released service: Alerts! This web application allows the user to set custom alerts for their robots, which let the robot react to a defined set of conditions and signal the user when necessary (e.g. by email or HTTP Post). Alerts can be defined for several types of situations, such as the robot moving beyond a particular location or having sensor values greater than or less than a certain amount.
MyRobots.com also features a robot app store. This store contains robot apps developed by the community, manufacturers, and the RobotShop / MyRobots.com team. Anyone involved in robotics - developers, manufacturers, and robot owners - is welcome to participate and submit their apps. The goal is to make apps available for all kinds of robots and tasks, specialized to run through the cloud. We envision this as a place where programmers can freely create robotic apps that will work for all sorts of robots at once.
I see the future of robots as completely cloud-based, with knowledge, information, and skills being instantly available via this constant networked connection. The cloud and robot app stores like MyRobots.com provide robots with an ever-greater amount of resources and information, which will accelerate robotics development and help users get more for their money. This is why we have the slogan "Connect your Robots. Reap the benefits".Today, we are announcing that the basic service of MyRobots.com allowing robot owners to connect their robots, to monitor and sharing their status, etc. This basic service that is free today will .... still ... be free tomorrow and forever. Yes. The whole concept of tokens (fictitious money used to regulate the data consumption of the robots) will disappear in the coming months. So if you were afraid of us trying to bind you and trap you in some ways as IEEE columnist Evan Ackerman suggested in his article "Is myRobots.com the Facebook for Robots Verdic: maybe", then don’t be afraid anymore. With MyRobots.com, you can safely embrace the era of cloud robotics and social machine. Connect your robots now, start reaping the benefits and stay tuned for the next updates by following us on Twitter and Facebook, or by registering to the newsletter.