Mobile Robotics for Computer Architects

Presentation Date: 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Location: 

International Workshop on Domain Specific System Architecture (DOSSA)

Presentation Slides: 

Autonomous computing systems are marching toward ubiquity in everyday life. In recent years, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have seen an influx of attention, specifically in application areas with a strong demand for autonomy. A key challenge in making mobile robots such as UAS autonomous is their need to operate under power and energy constraints, which severely limit their onboard sensing, intelligence, and endurance capabilities. To overcome these challenges, researchers must understand how endurance, power efficiency, and computational bottlenecks in autonomous systems relate to one another. The talk sheds light on these issues and on the tools and methodologies needed to overcome these issues. The talk also sheds light on recent developments that enable hardware architects to make contributions to this emerging domain. These developments include a closed-loop simulation environment that allows the study of computing onboard UAS, an end-to-end autonomous UAS benchmark application suite, and ongoing work on a RISC-V based SoC platform for driving the adoption of open standards for accelerating research and development in robotics. The topics that the talk touches up apply broadly beyond the scope of autonomous UAS to other agents such as ground service robots that face similar constraints and challenges. Hence, the talk concludes with the key takeaways and helps identify opportunities for tighter collaboration between the robotics and computer architecture fields, and the computing industry at large.