Rapyuta: A Platform-as-a-Service framework for Robots

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Rapyuta, a.k.a. the RoboEarth Cloud Engine, is a Platform as a Service framework for robots. The figure below gives a simplified overview of the Rapyuta framework: Each robot connected to Rapyuta will have a secured computing environment (rectangular boxes) giving them the ability to move their heavy computation into the cloud. In addition, the computing environments are tightly interconnected with each other and have a high bandwidth connection to the RoboEarth knowledge repository (stacked circular disks).


System Overview

The RoboEarth Cloud Engine, aka Rapyuta, is a platform as a service ( PaaS ) framework for robots. The framework is built upon a clone based model [1]. Each robot connected to the RoboEarth Cloud Engine will have a system level clone on the cloud giving them the ability to move their heavy computation into the cloud. In addition, the system clones are tightly (high bandwidth) interconnected providing a useful platform for muti-robot deployments.

The system level clone is implemented using linux containers, a light weight virtual mechanism. Therefore the terms [container] and [clone] will be used interchangeably in the documentation. Communication with the robots happens over the websocket protocol, providing a full duplex communication channel between the robot and the cloud with predefined messages.

In the current release (alpha) the RoboEearth Cloud engine allows to use arbitrary ROS nodes and can communicate with them over the standard ROS interfaces: Publisher, Subscriber and Service. Additionally, the RoboEearth Cloud engine provides an interface to the ROS parameter server. The framework is designed in such a way that it can be extended to run applications from other robotic frameworks.


  • [1] Guoqiang Hu; Wee Peng Tay; Yonggang Wen; , "Cloud robotics: architecture, challenges and applications," Network, IEEE , vol.26, no.3, pp.21-28, May-June 2012 doi: 10.1109/MNET.2012.6201212 URL




  • November 03, 2013 | Rapyuta presented in IROS 2013, Tokyo, Japan.
  • April 12, 2013 | Rapyuta presented in ROSCon2013, Stuttgart, Germany. Successful live demonstration of RGBD mapping on the cloud.
  • April 10, 2013 | Rapyuta presented in invited talk at the ICRA 2013 workshop on long-term autonomy, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Select Press Coverage


  • D. Hunziker, M. Gajamohan, M. Waibel, R. D'Andrea, 'Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine', IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2013 - accepted - ( pdf | bib ).
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