Polymath Robotics develops universal autonomy software

Photo: Screenshot from Polymath video
Photo: Screenshot from Polymath video

Polymath Robotics is a new company, launched in order to develop general autonomy software for industrial and agricultural vehicles.

Polymath Robotics was co-founded by Stefan Seltz-Axmacher. Previously, Seltz-Axmacher worked at the start-up Starsky Robotics, which he co-founded. Starsky Robotics was the first company to drive an unmanned truck on a public highway.

In his blog on the Polymath Robotics website, Seltz-Axmacher states they are building all of the basic generalizable autonomy needed to automate the 50 million odd industrial vehicles doing work today.

“We’re focusing on components necessary for autonomy, but insufficient for specific customer value – path planning, hazard detection, behavior trees, human detection, controls tuning, and safety.”

Automate a tractor

How would that work in practice? Seltz-Axmacher gives an example: “Let’s say, for example, that you wanted to automate a tractor to till a farm. Before Polymath, you’d need to get a tractor, retrofit it, build out autonomy, build a safety layer, get to the point where you can take the person out, and then build the front-end app that a farmer can use.”

According to Seltz-Axmacher, with Polymath, you can just focus on the app, and use Polymath Robotics’ Caladan tool to connect to their API and command a virtual tractor in sim. “If you want, we can even let you command our physical demo tractor from your app via our API. And when you’re ready, Polymath software will seamlessly transition from the Caladan simulation to a real vehicle.”

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According to Seltz-Axmacher Polymath today drives unmanned autonomous vehicles for 4-6 hours every day with nobody on site (often without any human actively monitoring them), and they have customers developing on top of our platform. “With Polymath, autonomy no longer needs to take 2 years of engineering just for a demo.”

Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming