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Palm-sized NVIDIA Jet­son Xavier is the world’s first brain for intel­li­gent robots

Today at Com­pu­tex 2018, NVIDIA launched the world’s first com­put­er designed specif­i­cal­ly for robot­ics — the Jet­son Xavier.

While pur­pose spe­cif­ic robots are aplen­ty in the man­u­fac­tur­ing, ser­vice and hos­pi­tal­i­ty indus­try, intel­li­gent robots are those that have the capa­bil­i­ty to take in world inputs in real-time and act upon it. In essence robots with AI capa­bil­i­ties.

What’s pow­er­ing the Jet­son Xavier?

Pow­ered by the same 9‑billion tran­sis­tor Xavier SoC that was unveiled at CES 2018, it will also deliv­er over 30 tril­lion oper­a­tions per sec­ond (TOPS) at just 30W of pow­er (a third of a typ­i­cal tung­sten fil­a­ment incan­des­cent light bulb).

Like the Xavieur SoC, the Jet­son Xavier has six kinds of high-per­for­mance proces­sors — a 512-core Vol­ta Ten­sor Core GPU, an eight-core ARM64 CPU, dual NVDLA deep learn­ing accel­er­a­tors, an image proces­sor, a vision proces­sor and a video proces­sor. These come togeth­er to enable dozens of algo­rithms to be processed con­cur­rent­ly and in real time for sen­sor pro­cess­ing, odom­e­try, local­iza­tion and map­ping, vision and per­cep­tion, and path plan­ning.

This lev­el of per­for­mance is essen­tial for a robot to take input from sen­sors, locate itself, per­ceive its envi­ron­ment, rec­og­nize and pre­dict motion of near­by objects, rea­son about what action to per­form and artic­u­late itself safe­ly. For exam­ple, if one of these intel­li­gent machines was across the end of a large ware­house, it would be dif­fi­cult to yell at it, but if it could rec­og­nize your hand ges­tures to call it over, it can then process your hand inputs to deter­mine if you’re sum­mon­ing it. If so, it would have to instant­ly chart an opti­mal path to get to you and at the same time gath­er all visu­al inputs to ensure if it needs to take any eva­sive actions or process any fur­ther ges­tures you might have made such as meet­ing you at anoth­er quad­rant of the ware­house.

The begin­nings of democ­ra­ti­za­tion of intel­li­gent machines?

While all this sounds like the stuff of sci­ence fic­tion, like it or not, intel­li­gent robots are com­ing to trans­form our world as we know it today and enable a (hope­ful­ly) bet­ter, safer soci­ety through next gen­er­a­tion of autonomous machines and bring­ing AI capa­bil­i­ties to robots in man­u­fac­tur­ing, logis­tics, agri­cul­ture, con­struc­tion and many more indus­tries.

The possibilities on where Jetson Xavier can be employed for intelligent robotics are limitless.

Mov­ing for­ward, more than CPU com­pute, the need for AI com­pute will increase expo­nen­tial­ly. Accord­ing to NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang, there are 3 phas­es to AI com­pute:-

  • The first is the hard­ware required to process and build mod­els for AI com­pute. This is now pos­si­ble via machines like the NVIDIA DGX‑2 and the more recent HGX‑2 to pow­er the serv­er archi­tec­ture for data cen­ters.
  • The sec­ond phase is using these machines to enabled new lev­els of soft­ware automa­tion that can boost pro­duc­tiv­i­ty across sev­er­al indus­tries.
  • Final­ly, AI com­bined with sen­sors and actu­a­tors to pow­er the brains of next-gen­er­a­tion autonomous and intel­li­gent machines.

Accom­pa­ny­ing the Xavier Jet­son is the avail­abil­i­ty of NVIDIA Isaac robot­ics soft­ware which is a tool­box to sim­u­late, train, ver­i­fy and deploy Jet­son Xavier based robots. This robot­ics soft­ware con­sists of:

  • Isaac SDK – a col­lec­tion of APIs and tools to devel­op robot­ics algo­rithm soft­ware and run­time frame­work with ful­ly accel­er­at­ed libraries.
  • Isaac IMX – Isaac Intel­li­gent Machine Accel­er­a­tion appli­ca­tions, a col­lec­tion of NVIDIA-devel­oped robot­ics algo­rithm soft­ware.
  • Isaac Sim – a high­ly real­is­tic vir­tu­al sim­u­la­tion envi­ron­ment for devel­op­ers to train autonomous machines and per­form hard­ware-in-the-loop test­ing with Jet­son Xavier.

The Jet­son Xavier devel­op­er kit, which includes the Isaac robot­ics, will be priced atUS$1,299 with avail­abil­i­ty start­ing in August 2018.

NVIDIA's Jetson Xavier on the left, and the Jetson Xavier devkit on the right,

Source: NVIDIA

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