The home for innovators, Ubuntu is a place where developers can create what previously lived solely in the realms of fiction. The internet of things, the cloud, and robots are world changing technologies and they’re all running Ubuntu.
With an estimated worldwide spending figure of $103bn by 2020, according to IDC, the field of robotics is one of those transformative industries that is really gaining traction, and it’s not just the manufacturing industry that’s using them, robots are everywhere.
From collecting tennis balls, to social robots, agriculture and retail. Robots are making our lives easier and it turns out that a large amount of them are an Ubuntu robot.
Don’t just take my word for it though, below is a list of of just some of the cool and brilliant ways Ubuntu is being used in the field of robotics.
Robots in space
We all know that Ubuntu has a long held connection with space and space travel with NASA using a version of the OS for its Curiosity Rover on Mars, but that’s not the only example. Recently, CIMON went to space. Standing for (Crew Interactive Mobile CompaniON), CIMON is a free floating AI system that was designed by the European Space Agency to float on the International Space Station as a way of mitigate the stresses of spaceflight.
With the ability to see, hear, and speak to the astronauts, CIMON was launched into space earlier this year.
The robot was developed by Airbus in cooperation with IBM, with Ubuntu acting as the operating system and the majority of the AI work being carried out by IBM Watson.
On the tennis court
Back down on earth, this Ubuntu robot is being put to use as the world’s first robotic tennis ball collector. Removing the time consuming task of collecting all the tennis balls and freeing up time for coaches and players to focus on hitting the balls, not picking them up.
Created by a US-based design team, Tennibot uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to detect tennis balls on the court and collect them. For this deployment, it was Ubuntu’s potential for customisation and the ease of integration with embedded hardware that helped to make it the perfect choice.
Time now for something that feels a little less like the start of a Terminator film, with BotsAndUs.
This UK-based startup is looking to capitalise on the growing robotics market with the creation of Bo. Bo is primarily aimed for use in the hospitality and retail industries and has already been used by large brands such as BT and Etisalat.
With artificial intelligence capabilities for advanced face to face interaction, and a combination of hardware and software, including a RealSense Depth camera system and ROS that needs to be seamlessly integrated, the creation of Bo was no simple task, and required a widely supported and versatile OS for the job.
That’s why Bo’s creators BotsAndUs ended up creating an Ubuntu robot.
This agri-tech startup is working to change the face of farming, replacing big tractors with smaller, more environmentally friendly robots that are lighter, more agile, and don’t damage the soil.
The British startup offers a Farming as a Service (FaaS) model, where the robot is able to use AI to digitise the field and then carry out more precision farming than traditional methods, and guess what? It runs Ubuntu as its OS.
According to the company’s site: “We are building robots that will seed and care for each individual plant in your crop. They will only feed and spray the plants that need it, giving them the perfect levels nutrients and support, with no waste.”