In the year Amidst the 2022 GTC conference festivities, Nvidia unveiled new robotics-related hardware and services aimed at developing and testing machines in industries such as manufacturing. Isaac Sim, NVIDIA’s robotics simulation platform, will soon be available in the cloud, the company said. And Nvidia’s Jetson lineup of system-on-modules is expanding with the Jetson Orion Nano, a system designed for low-power robots.
IsaacSim, which launched in open beta last June, allows designers to simulate robots that interact with real-world mockups (think digital recreations of warehouses and factory floors). Users can generate data sets from the same sensors to train the models on real-world robots.
It’s not just a marketing blurb, it’s a must. Some studies show that artificial intelligence has the potential to solve many of the development challenges plaguing companies trying to put AI to work. MIT researchers recently discovered a way to identify images using synthetic data, and nearly every major autonomous vehicle company uses simulation data to augment the real-world data they collect from cars on the road.
According to Nvidia, the upcoming release of Isaac SIM — available on AWS RoboMaker and Nvidia NGC, from which it can be deployed to any public cloud, and soon on Nvidia’s Omniverse Cloud platform — will include the company’s real-time fleet functionality and A path planning engine for optimizing robot path planning, Nvidia cuOpt.
“With IsaacSim Cloud… teams can be located around the world sharing a virtual world to simulate and train robots,” wrote Gerard Andries, senior product marketing manager at NVIDIA, in a blog post. “Running IsaacSim in the cloud means developers are not tied to a powerful workstation to run simulations. Any device can configure, manage and evaluate simulation results.”
Jetson Music Nano
In March, NVIDIA introduced the Jetson Orion, the company’s next generation of arm-based, single-board PCs for edge computing use cases. The first Jetson AGX in the line was the Orin, and the Orin Nano expands the portfolio even more affordably.
The previously mentioned Orion Nano offers up to 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS) – the number of computing operations that the chip is used at 100% – in the smallest Jetson form to date. It sits at the entry level of the Jetson family, which now includes six Orion-based product modules intended for a variety of robotics and local, offline computing applications.
Coming with modules compatible with Nvidia’s previously announced Orion NX, Orion Nano supports AI application pipelines with Ampere architecture GPUs – Ampere is the GPU architecture launched by Nvidia in 2020. Two versions will be available in January, starting at $199: the Orion Nano 8GB, with power options ranging from 7W to 15W for up to 40 TOPS, and the Orion Nano 4GB for up to 20 TOPS, with power options ranging from 5W to 10W.
“More than 1,000 customers and 150 partners have adopted Jetson AGX Orion since Nvidia announced its availability six months ago. Orion Nano significantly expands this adoption,” said Deepu Talla, Nvidia’s VP of embedded and edge computing, in a statement. (Compared to the Orion Nano, the Jetson AGX Orion costs more than a thousand dollars—a significant delta, needless to say.) [robotics] Developers Jetson Orion Nano set a new standard for entry-level AI and robotics.