Viam releases public beta of open source software


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Viam has developed a new generation of safety-focused open-source robotic operating software for a connected world. | Credit: Viam Inc.

Viam, Inc. announced the release of its public beta. Viam’s vision is to make getting started with robots easier than ever and support the entire robotics lifecycle on a single platform, including configuration and prototyping, coding, maintenance and growing robotic fleets, and leveraging cloud technologies to do more with robotic data.

The company believes that in the past, robotics software systems were different, difficult to use, and couldn’t connect to the cloud. Viam is built for the cloud era, so it has a simple, modern architecture and easy-to-use APIs. Viam prioritizes security and privacy, with SOC2 type I and HIPAA Complianceso customers know their robot data is safe.

Founder and CEO Eliot Horowitz was founder and CTO of Mongo DB before founding Viam in 2020. Mongo DB is one of the most widely used open source database solutions for web application development. Horowitz wants to modernize robotic operating software in the same way.

Viam Robotics announced the closing of a $30 million Series A in a story we reported in February 2022. The company has raised a total of $42 million so far.

“It’s clear that in the near future robots are going to impact our lives in a myriad of different ways, but we’re not going to get there without a massive improvement in robot tooling, especially on the software side. “, said Horowitz. . “Viam takes a complex and disjointed process and makes it practical. A platform for every step of your robotics journey that bridges the gap between hardware and software engineers while providing them with the kind of flexible, intuitive tools they already love to use. I can’t wait to see what people build with Viam.

Viam provides an open source robotics architecture that turns complex functionality into simple APIs, with an integrated cloud service to orchestrate production deployments. Users can set up a robot in minutes and operate it from anywhere using any popular software language. Viam manages, secures and connects each robot so that any team can go from a robotic idea to a robotic company in record time.

Viam allows users to:

  • Unify hardware and software prototyping – Viam abstracts common hardware types such as “motor” or “arm” so engineers can simply select the model they are using and Viam automatically configures their robot. Viam supports hundreds of popular drivers and provides an SDK to easily create more. Once configured, hardware can be tested in Viam’s Control UI and software engineers immediately have intuitive APIs to start coding.
  • Simplify software development – Viam enables developers to write predictable, reliable, and consistent code in any programming language, for any robot, from anywhere. Viam’s API exposes intuitive methods via gRPC for each type of hardware. Each robot is remotely accessible via WebRTC, and Viam natively supports higher level services such as Computer Vision, SLAM and Motion Planning.
  • Operate global deployments – Organizations can centrally manage and secure each robot from anywhere. Organize bots by group and location, view each bot’s status, remotely control any bot, and maintain granular control over bot access, down to separate API methods. For example, users can prevent remote access to cameras deployed in sensitive environments.
  • Manage data between robots – Viam allows users to sync data from each bot to the cloud, combine and analyze the data in the cloud, and then deploy the changes to each bot. Viam can collect images, sensor readings and hardware metrics even under harsh network conditions and limited bandwidth. Once downloaded, users can explore the data, export it to run predictive analytics, and train machine learning models. The trained models – or any other data – are easily pushed back to the robots.

New era in robotics

It is widely believed that robotics and automation will become mainstream, with a significant impact on all sectors and aspects of daily life. However, the path to get there has been complicated by technological barriers on the software side.

Viam facilitates the transition from a robotics concept to a production robot and then to a large-scale and profitable robotics company. There are a number of use cases for robots that Viam can support, whether it’s deploying a solution aimed at solving one of the world’s biggest problems or something that makes household chores easier. .

Viam does not charge for beta usage of its cloud service. During general availability, Viam will offer consumption-based pricing for its cloud service.


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