One of the most exciting announcements at Amazon.com's recent re:Invent event, was the AWS DeepRacer—a 1/18th scale radio-controlled, four-wheel-drive car.
AWS DeepRacer is a 1/18th scale race car which gives you an interesting and fun way to get started with reinforcement learning (RL). RL is an advanced machine learning (ML) technique which takes a very different approach to training models than other machine learning methods. Its super power is that it learns very complex behaviors without requiring any labeled training data, and can make short term decisions while optimizing for a longer term goal.
With AWS DeepRacer, you now have a way to get hands-on with RL, experiment, and learn through autonomous driving. You can get started with the virtual car and tracks in the cloud-based 3D racing simulator, and for a real-world experience, you can deploy your trained models onto AWS DeepRacer and race your friends, or take part in the global AWS DeepRacer League.
Using a camera to view the track and a reinforcement model to control throttle and steering, the car shows how a model trained in a simulated environment can be transferred to the real-world. The combination of console, simulator, and car provides a solution to experiment with RL algorithms and generalization methods.
The AWS DeepRacer features an Intel Atom processor onboard, a four megapixel camera with 1080p resolution, fast (802.11ac) WiFi, multiple USB ports, and enough battery power to last for about two hours. The Intel Atom processor runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, ROS (Robot Operating System), and the OpenVINO computer vision toolkit.
Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit is based on convolutional neural networks (CNN), the toolkit extends workloads across Intel hardware (including accelerators) and maximizes performance. OpenVINO improves time to market via a library of functions and pre-optimized kernels.
Reinforcement learning is one of the technologies used to make self-driving cars a reality; the AWS DeepRacer has been dedigned for you to go hands-on and learn all about it or to share with your soon-to-be drivers in the family.