Now You Can Build Your Robots Using A Snapdragon Processor

Now You Can Build Your Robots Using A Snapdragon Processor

With Qualcomm’s support, robots are about to get a lot smarter.

The trouble with making a smart robot: fitting its big brain into its head. Now Qualcomm, known for making Snapdragon smartphone processors, wants to step in to help run those rigs.

Last week, the chip maker announced that it will work with the Open Source Robotics Foundation’s (OSRF) Robotic Operating System (ROS). Created by a community of developers, ROS aims to make it easier for app builders to create robotic software.

See also: K5, The Autonomous Security Robot, Is Now On The Beat

“If you were going to build a small mobile robot a few years ago, you would’ve gotten a low-power x86 architecture laptop, and made that the brain of the robot,” Brian Gerkey, OSRF’s CEO, told ReadWrite.

Now, with Qualcomm’s support for ROS, those days could be over.
Stuffing Phone Tech Into Robots

The sort of compact processor available in phones could offer benefits for certain types of robots: “[N]ow you can basically do all the same things but using this lower power consuming, smaller form-factor board which is much more appropriate, especially for smaller robots,” Gerkey said.

According to Tom Marchok, Qualcomm’s senior director of corporate strategic development, leading robotics research labs across both university and government sectors wanted to see more integration of smartphone technology in robots.

They were already sold on ROS as “a key piece their innovation process,” Marchok said. So the company decided to get involved and snap their mobile processors into the robotics puzzle.
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