NVIDIA Announces ISAAC, A Platform For Autonomous Robotics

Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

At their annual press conference at Computex 2018, NVIDIA unveiled a new platform designed to herald in a new age of autonomous robotics: ISAAC.

The platform is designed to underpin a new ecosystem for the future of robotics, providing the computing power necessary for intelligent machines to program themselves.

Announced by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang in Taipei, the platform was announced alongside a brand new devkit: Jetson Xavier, a SOC designed exclusively for robotics (pictured above).

A devkit of Jetson Xavier will be sold through an early access program in August for $US1299, with the hardware a fraction less powerful than a Titan XP despite requiring supposedly only 30 watts of power. The box has eight ARM cores inside, a Volta Tensor GPU, and separate processors for image, video and vision.

Xavier is the hardware designed to power the new phase of automation, but the platform also includes ISAAC SIM. Jen-Hsun Huang explained that ISAAC SIM would effectively provide a virtual environment for testing robots, whereby a GPU server would simulate an environment to incorporate real-world information into training for the robot.

That sim would emulate sensor data and send it back to the Jetson Xavier hardware, which would then feed control data back to the simulator, enabling the robot to learn within a virtual environment.

Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

The author travelled to Computex 2018 as a guest of ASUS.

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