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We extend the computation and information sharing capabilities of networked robotics by proposing a cloud robotic architecture. The cloud robotic architecture leverages the combination of an ad-hoc cloud formed by machine-to-machine (M2M) communications among participating robots, and an infrastructure cloud enabled by machine-to-cloud (M2C) communications. Cloud robotics utilizes an elastic computing model, in which resources are dynamically allocated from a shared resource pool in the ubiquitous cloud, to support task offloading and information sharing in robotic applications. We propose and evaluate communication protocols, and several elastic computing models to handle different applications. We discuss the technical challenges in computation, communications and security, and illustrate the potential benefits of cloud robotics in different applications.
Date of Publication: May-June 2012