Firefighting Technology: Cloud Enhances Innovation in Robotics for Disaster Response

By Mary Jane Dittmar "Cloud computing is driving innovation and expediting research around the world," according to Nathan Day, chief scientist, IBM's SoftLayer. As an example, Day points to Take Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) and its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-sponsored DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). The DRC's objective is to identify innovative methods for deploying robots for disaster-response evolutions. This was the first competition in which DARPA incorporated a cloud-based simulation stage, Day notes. The Virtual Robotics Challenge, run over the cloud, made it possible for more than 100 teams from around the world to compete from remote loc...

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