ADLINK Technology Inc. today announced that it and and Intel Corp. have released the ROScube-I Series controller, which runs on ROS 2, the latest version of the open-source Robot Operating System. It is intended to help developers build applications for robotics at the edge.
The ROScube-I is based on Intel Xeon E, ninth-generation Intel CoreTM i7/i3, and eighth-generation Intel CoreTM i5 processors. It “features exceptional I/O connectivity supporting a wide variety of sensors and actuators to meet the needs of a wide range of robotics applications,” said ADLINK.
“ADLINK is working closely with Intel to apply artificial intelligence to edge computing, and our new ROScube-I releases the potential for robotic companies to develop and deploy AI-based applications faster and easier than ever, so our industrial and commercial customers can optimize operational efficiency and expand business value,” said Dr. Ryan Chen, director of the Advanced Robotic Platform Group at ADLINK.
The controller supports an extension box for functional and performance expansion with Intel vision processing unit (VPU) cards and the Intel distribution of OpenVINOTM toolkit for computation of AI algorithms and inference.
ADLINK added that its proprietary Neuron software development kit (SDK) supports systems based on ROScube-I, such as autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Thanks to the newly released ROS 2 Foxy Fitzroy, code-named “foxy,” Neuron SDK customers can expect long-term support and quality-guaranteed services, said the company.
The ROScube-I series includes the following features, according to Taipei, Taiwan-based ADLINK, which has U.S. offices in San Jose, Calif., and Woburn, Mass.:
- High-performance x86-64 mainstream architecture for ROS 2 development
- Comprehensive I/O for connecting a wide range of devices
- Real-time I/O for environmental sensors (CAN, GPIO, COM)
- Real-time middleware for communication between software components and devices
- Hypervisor for safe mission-critical execution
- Ruggedized, secure connectivity with locking USB ports
- Optional real-time operating systems (RTOS) such as VxWorks
Developers can use the ROScube-I Starter Kit or ROScube Pico Development Kit (powered by Intel CoreTM, Celeron, and Atom processors) to rapidly prototype algorithms, said ADLINK. They can immediately deploy them to ADLINK’s NeuronBot ROS 2-based rapid robotic development kit for demonstration.
This allows for fast improvement of AI models and acquisition of vision data to optimize operational decision-making, the company added. The NeuronBot also supports ADLINK’s Neuron SDK to take advantage of open-source ROS libraries and packages.
The ROScube-I Starter Kit includes the following features, said ADLINK:
- Embedded board with rich I/O interface
- MXM graphics module support for accelerated AI computing
- Compatibility with ROS/ROS 2
- OpenVINO support
The ROScube Pico Development Kit features include:
- Compatibility with Raspberry Pi 40-pin GPIO
- Rich ROS open-source applications
- Compact size based on the SMARC form factor
In addition, ADLINK listed the following features of its NeuronBot:
- Integrated vision, control, AI, and motion modules
- Rapid robotic development design
- Support for powerful open-source ROS libraries and packages
- OpenVINO support
Designed for integration, scaling
“We have also designed the ROScube-I Starter Kit and ROScube Pico Development Kit series as integrated hardware and software solutions, which provide users with an ideal starting point to find AI value by enabling easy edge deployment of their models on our NeuronBot,” Chen said. “This approach can then be scaled for industrial requirements using the same software platform but deployed on more powerful hardware as needed. This gives our customers the ultimate in future-proof flexibility by allowing them to immediately begin development with our comprehensive robotic solutions, and then make their hardware solution choice at deployment time.”
“With the rise of Industrial 4.0, robotics will become increasingly intelligent powered by edge computing and AI on the path to the autonomous factory,“ stated René Torres, vice president of the Sales, Marketing, and Communications Group and general manager of industrial solution sales at Intel. “We are pleased to partner with ADLINK to enable the ROScube, a market-leading innovative robot controller that is built to empower existing robotics solutions with high-performance edge AI analytics for dynamic manufacturing environments.”
“Powered with technologies such as Intel Architecture, Intel Iris Graphics, Movidius, and OpenVINO, the ROScube will enable new levels of performance and collaboration between multiple AMRs with real-time communication,” he said.