The future of robotics is in artificial intelligence and autonomy, which is already allowing robots to act on their own without direct human intervention or pre-programmed instructions. Those capabilities, however, require a lot of processing power, along with the tools to implement them. To streamline that development, NVIDIA has created a comprehensive robotics platform called Isaac.
Isaac is a complete system that includes hardware, software, and a simulator. The backbone of the NVIDIA Isaac hardware is the new NVIDIA Jetson Xavier, which they claim is the world’s first computer designed specifically for robotics. Jetson Xavier is packing a lot of power to enable next-generation robots, including six processors: an eight-core ARM64 CPU, a Volta Tensor Core GPU, dual NVDLA (NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator) chips, and a dedicated image processor, vision processor, and video processor.
The Isaac software suite is a combination of three major components. The Isaac SDK contains the tools and framework that will allow developers to work with the system. Isaac IMX (Intelligent Machine Acceleration) runs on the Jetson Xavier to provide control of the robot. And, Isaac Sim is a virtual simulation environment where the robots can be tested and their AI can be trained.
Roboticists — or anyone who is interested in Isaac — will be able to purchase the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier development kit in August from distributors. The kit will include the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier hardware, as well as the complete Isaac software suite. It will be priced at $1,299, so it’s accessible for small development teams and even individuals.