Augmenting robotic intelligence with cloud connectivity is considered one of the most promising solutions to cope with growing volumes of rich robotic sensory data and increasingly complex perception and decision-making tasks. While the benefits of cloud robotics have been envisioned long before, there is still a lack of flexible methods to trade-off the benefits of cloud computing with end-to-end systems costs of network delay, cloud storage, human annotation time, and cloud-computing time. To address this need, I will introduce decision-theoretic algorithms that allow robots to significantly transcend their on-board perception capabilities by using cloud computing, but in a low-cost, fault-tolerant manner. The utility of these algorithms will be demonstrated on months of field data and experiments on state-of-the-art embedded deep learning hardware.
Specifically, for compute-and-power-limited robots, I will present a lightweight model selection algorithm that learns when a robot should exploit low-latency on-board computation, or, when highly uncertain, query a more accurate cloud model. Then, I will present a collaborative learning algorithm that allows a diversity of robots to mine their real-time sensory streams for valuable training examples to send to the cloud for model improvement. I will conclude this talk by outlining a number of future research directions on the systems and theoretical aspects of networked system control, some of which extend well beyond cloud robotics.
Sandeep Chinchali is a computer science PhD candidate at Stanford, advised by Sachin Katti and Marco Pavone. Previously, he was the first principal data scientist at Uhana, a Stanford startup working on data-driven optimization of cellular networks, now acquired by VMWare. His research on networked control has led to proof-of-concept trials with major cellular network operators and was a finalist for best student paper at Robotics: Science and Systems 2019. Prior to Stanford, he graduated from Caltech, where he worked on robotics at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL). He is a recipient of the Stanford Graduate Fellowship and National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowships.