Digital Transformation

Could cloud computing for robots create even more need for secure storage?

There may be a need to protect data from robots in the future.

Many science fiction fans who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s may have been disappointed by the lack of talking robots in homes in the 21st century.

However, a leap forward in artificial intelligence technology could mean businesses need to act if they are to ensure they adhere to data protection rules in the years to come.

Researchers at five European universities have announced that they have managed to create a cloud computing platform for robots called RoboEarth Cloud Engine.

This allows them to connect up to their own version of the internet in order to access modern data centres and find out more about the world around them, resulting in what is effectively robot learning.

It is a Platform as a Service and could help to create better robots for tasks such as processing of human voice commands, navigation and mapping, all at a much faster rate than would be possible using traditional on-board computers.

Researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Mohanarajah Gajamohan said: "The RoboEarth Cloud Engine is particularly useful for mobile robots, such as drones or autonomous cars, which require lots of computation for navigation."

Dr Heico Sandee from Eindhoven University of Technology added: "With the rapid increase in wireless data rates caused by the booming demand of mobile communications devices, more and more of a robot’s computational tasks can be moved into the cloud."

However, it was only last month that Gartner analyst Tapati Bhandopadhyay was telling Computer Weekly that chief information officers are failing to manage the traditional cloud effectively enough.

An additional layer of cloud computing could make this issue even more pronounced – and it may lead to problems with data protection in particular.

For instance, robots may unwittingly expose sensitive information to third parties if it is not sufficiently guarded.

Artificial intelligence may still be some way off yet, but businesses could certainly benefit from getting their cloud computing affairs in order anyway, perhaps using specialists such as those from Dajon Data Management.