NVIDIA launched a new platform for programming and training AI-powered robots called NVIDIA Isaac. The platform is based around the company’s Xavier SoC and supported with Isaac Robotics Software which includes an Isaac SDK with accelerated libraries, NVIDIA developed Isaac IMX algorithms, and a virtualized training and testing environment called Isaac SIM.
According to NVIDIA, Isaac will enable a new wave of machines and robotics powered by artificial intelligence aimed at manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, construction, and other industrial and infrastructural industries. Using the Jetson Xavier hardware platform for processing along with a suite of sensors and cameras, Isaac-powered robots will be capable of accurately analyze their environment and their spatial positioning within it to be able to adapt to obstacles and work safely in hazardous areas and/or alongside human workers.
NVIDIA notes that its new Jetson Xavier platform is 10-times more energy efficient while offering 20-times more compute performance than the Jetson TX2. It seems that NVIDIA has been able to juice up the chip since it was last teased at GTC Europe with it now being rated at up to 30 TOPS and featuring 9 billion transistors. The 30W module (it can also operate in 10W and 15W modes) combines a 512-core Volta GPU with Tensor cores, two NVDLA deep learning accelerators, an 8-core 64-bit ARM CPU (8MB L2 + 4MB L3), and accelerators for image, vision, and video inputs. The Jetson Xavier can handle up to 16 camera inputs along with supporting sensor inputs through GPIO and other specialized interfaces. It supports three 4K60 display outputs, PCI-E 4.0, 10 Gbps USB 3.1, USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, UFS, UART, SD, I2S, I2C, SPI, and CAN for I/O.
The virtual world simulation with Jetson Xavier in-the-loop testing sounds interesting if it works as described which would help accelerate development of software to run these promised smarter production lines, more efficient building of homes and other infrastructure like bridges, and easier and more cost effective home package delivery using adaptable and smarter robotics.
The Isaac development platform will be priced at $1,299 and will be available starting in August to early access partners.
What are your thoughts on NVIDIA Isaac?