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A Tradeoff Analysis of a Cloud-Based Robot Navigation Assistant Using Stereo Image Processing

The use of Cloud Computing for computation offloading in the robotics area has become a field of interest today. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the viability of cloud offloading in a low level and intensive computing task: a vision-based navigation assistance of a service mobile robot. In order to do so, a prototype, running over a ROS-based mobile robot (Erratic by Videre Design LLC) is presented. The information extracted from on-board stereo cameras will be used by a private cloud platform consisting of five bare-metal nodes with AMD Phenom 965 Ă— 4 CPU, with the cloud middleware Openstack Havana.

The actual task is the shared control of the robot teleoperation, that is, the smooth filtering of the teleoperated commands with the detected obstacles to prevent collisions. All the possible offloading models for this case are presented and analyzed. Several performance results using different communication technologies and offloading models are explained as well. In addition to this, a real navigation case in a domestic circuit was done. The tests demonstrate that offloading computation to the Cloud improves the performance and navigation results with respect to the case where allprocessing is done by the robot.