THE Cub Report – ISO Oscar Goldman
Happy Monday fellow hobbyists, welcome to BigSquidRC and THE Cub Report. This is my little corner of the internet, glad you are able to join me.
So… electronics behemoth Amazon dropped a new race car of-sorts last week. Amazon, a company that started out as an on-line book retailer, has expanded into just about everything, and now they are blazing a new trail with their AWS DeepRacer. For hobbyists like you and me, we might completely dismiss the Amazon DeepRacer as simply a toy or a joke all together, but that would be a serious mistake. Amazon is a beast of a company, and should the AWS DeepRacer really take off, it could completely change the rc car industry. How is that? Lets jump in…
The Amazon AWS DeepRacer is going after a new and unique market, the aspiring Autonomous Car Racing Scene. No, the DeepRacer doesn’t use a traditional “remote control” at all, instead it uses reinforcement learning. OK, so now that you are really scratching your head, to boil it down, the DeepRacer is loaded with sensors that allow it to learn its way around a track. Your goal as a AWS DeepRacer is to tune your car so that it can get around a track faster than the next guy’s autonomous car. All in all, the DeepRacer sounds perfect for anyone who is stuck on a cell phone, or for a typical geek. Btw, lets face it, it shouldn’t be news to you that autonomous cars are poised to completely take over the full sized market, racing and otherwise, in the not too distant future.
So… just how could the DeepRacer change rc car racing? What would you do, if like 10 years from now, someone showed up to your local track to race. That person ended up winning! However, he didn’t use a remote, nor did he even look at his car during any of the races. He wasn’t racing via FPV, but what if the new guy’s car was completely autonomous? AND IT WAS FASTER THAN ANY OF YOUR HUMAN DRIVEN CARS? Yes, that’s where this could put a real wrench in traditional “human based” rc car racing. At some point in the future, if you want to bust out the fastest lap time possible, you’ll be turning control over to a computer. Shocking perhaps, but that is the way the technology seems to be going.
The Amazon DeepRacer is perhaps the start of an autonomous car revolution in small scale racing. We will have to wait and see of course, but with Amazon carrying so much weight in the new-age-internet economy, it might take off. And if it does, how long will you wait before you start looking to turn your car into an autonomous racer? And rock crawlers, just think about this. What if your crawler was completely autonomous? What if when you put it down on the trail, that it drove the marked trail all by itself, at perfect speed, and it could climb obstacles Better By Itself than when YOU drive it? What if without even touching your rig, it could complete a tough rock section all by itself, using just the senors that you have set up, and after having completed a run, it learns to crawl even better the next time?
The possibilities are pretty incredible on all this stuff, but in my mind the big question is whether or not autonomous will be loads of fun, or incredibly boring. Looks like we are going to find out sooner rather than later…
So that’s it for this week ya bunch of animals. Get out and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can!
YOUR Cub Reporter