NVIDIA Accelerates AI-Enabled Robotics with Simulation and Perception Tools
October 18, 2023
NVIDIA said that the platform updates are designed to deliver performant perception and high-fidelity simulation to robotics developers, and they include the release of NVIDIA Isaac ROS 2.0 and NVIDIA Isaac Sim 2023.1, along with upgrades that simplify building and testing AI-based robotic applications for ROS developers.
“ROS continues to grow and evolve to provide open-source software for the whole robotics community,” said Geoff Biggs, CTO of the Open Source Robotics Foundation. “The new NVIDIA prebuilt ROS 2 packages, launched with this release, will accelerate that growth by making ROS 2 readily available to the vast NVIDIA Jetson developer community.”
Isaac ROS 2.0
Isaac ROS 2.0 is reportedly tuned to bring advanced computing to the ROS community at production-quality readiness levels. According to the release, significant enhancements include:
- Native ROS 2 Humble support: NVIDIA will host installation-ready ROS 2 Humble packages for JetPack 5 on Ubuntu 20.04, eliminating the need for source code compilation.
- NITROS ROS bridge: This optimized ROS bridge delivers a 2x speedup compared to standard ROS bridges, extending Isaac ROS acceleration to ROS Noetic applications.
- CUDA NITROS: Empowers developers to use their own DNN models with custom encoders and decoders and harness the acceleration capabilities of NITROS.
- Stereolabs ZED camera integration: Isaac ROS is now integrated with Stereolabs ZED cameras.
- Nova Carter: Isaac ROS software including Nav 2 navigation stack now supported on Nova Carter, a reference AMR for robotics R&D, powered by NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin.
- ESS 3.0 performance: The new ESS 3.0 depth perception DNN model offers improved accuracy and performance.
Isaac Sim 2023.1
Built on NVIDIA Omniverse, Isaac Sim is a robotics simulator for developing, training, testing, and deploying AI-enabled robots, NVIDIA said. Its capabilities include NVIDIA Omniverse Replicator for generating synthetic data, and Isaac Gym for GPU-accelerated reinforcement learning. In addition, the announcement indicates that the latest release of Omniverse Replicator 1.10 is designed to help developers boost synthetic data generation with a low-code, YAML-based configurator and asynchronous rendering. Isaac Sim reportedly also includes accurate sensor simulations for most of the popular sensors available today. It supports ROS and ROS 2 and can additionally be controlled from a Python script.