Robotics

AMD's robotics starter kit for the factory of the future

17th May 2022
AMD
Sam Holland

AMD has announced the Kria KR260 Robotics Starter Kit, the latest addition to the Kria portfolio of adaptive system-on-modules (SOMs) and developer kits. A scalable and out-of-the-box development platform for robotics, the Kria KR260 offers a seamless path to production deployment with the existing Kria K26 adaptive SOMs.

With native ROS 2 ('ROS' means 'Robot Operating System') support, the standard framework for robotics application development, and pre-built interfaces for robotics and industrial solutions, the new SOM starter kit enables rapid development of hardware-accelerated applications for robotics, machine vision and industrial communication and control.

As Chetan Khona, Senior Director of Industrial, Vision, Healthcare and Sciences Markets at AMD explains: “The Kria KR260 Robotics Starter Kits builds on the success of our Kria SOMs and KV260 Vision AI Starter Kit for AI and embedded developers, providing roboticists with a complete, out-of-the-box solution for this rapidly growing application space.

“Roboticists will now be able to work in their standard development environment on a platform that has all the interfaces and capabilities needed to be up and running in less than an hour. The KR260 Starter Kit is an ideal platform to accelerate robotics innovation and easily take ideas to production at scale.”

With industry analyst firm Omdia forecasting the robotics components market to grow at a CAGR of 20.4 percent between 2019 and 2025, with the overall world markets revenue to increase to approximately $126 billion by 2025, the Kria KR260 end-to-end adaptive robotics platform is expected to deliver nearly a five-fold productivity gain over competitive, Nvidia GPU-based solutions. Additionally, by accelerating the design cycle compared to chip-down design, the Kria SOM portfolio typically offers up to a nine-month savings in time-to-deployment, meaning that the process of getting started becomes quick and easy for all kinds of developers, and with no FPGA expertise required.

Complete industrial solution

The KR260 hardware platform provides pre-built interfaces for robotics and industrial solutions that, combined with a growing list of accelerated applications delivered via the AMD-Xilinx App Store, enable easy evaluation and a seamless path to deployment.

Central to the KR260 design experience and making the benefits of adaptive computing more accessible to the robotics community is the Kria Robotics Stack (KRS), an integrated set of robot libraries and utilities that use hardware to accelerate the development, maintenance and commercialisation of industrial-grade robotic solutions that target Kria SOMs. The low-latency, adaptive computing architecture of Kria SOMs implemented with KRS and ROS 2 can deliver over eight times better performance and up to 3.5-times lower latency compared to competitive GPU-based solutions.

The KR260 also includes support for the widely-adopted Ubuntu embedded operating system, providing compatibility with the latest LTS (long-term support) versions of Ubuntu Linux Desktop (22.04) from Canonical and ROS 2 Humble Hawksbill.

AMD is collaborating with Open Robotics, the creators of ROS 2 and other open software and hardware platforms for robotics, to validate and ensure compliance of its ROS 2 implementation for the robotics community.

"The Kria SOM family and KR260 Starter Kit provide the robotics community with a great combination of performance, flexibility and rapid development time,” says Brian Gerkey, CEO of Open Robotics. “Users can create software-defined hardware and build solutions offering high performance per watt, with security, energy-efficiency and adaptability.

"Open Robotics is excited to be collaborating with AMD-Xilinx to understand and address the needs of roboticists using hardware acceleration to build new robot applications with the KR260 development platform.”

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