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Amazon Web Services announced this week that it’s open-sourcing the device driver software at the heart of its AWS DeepRacer robots. These are the 1/18th-scale autonomous racing vehicles AWS have designed to demonstrate machine learning technology.

Amazon’s DeepRacer project aims to provides a fun and efficient way to learn about machine learning programming. It does this by putting ML into an easily accessible framework. AWS is using autonomous vehicles as a real-world example of its use.

Highlighting DeepRacer’s ability to provide “fun” ML experimentation

AWS detailed the move in blog post this week. “Today, we’re expanding AWS DeepRacer’s ability to provide fun, hands-on learning by open-sourcing the AWS DeepRacer device software,” they said.

“The AWS DeepRacer virtual and in-person leagues have been a hit,” they boasted. “But now developers want to go beyond league racing with their car.”

The AWS DeepRacer is an Ubuntu-based computer on wheels powered by the Robot Operating System (ROS). This is what allows AWS to open source the code. A developer with basic Linux coding skills can prototype new and interesting uses for their car.

“Now that the AWS DeepRacer device software is openly available,anyone with the car and an idea can make new uses for their device a reality,” AWS said.

AWS have compiled 6 sample projects from the AWS DeepRacer team and members of the global AWS DeepRacer community. These are meant to help people get started exploring the possibilities that open source provides.

“As developers share new projects using #deepracerproject, we will highlight our favorites on the AWS DeepRacer robotics projects page,” they said.

“Whether you’re mounting a Nerf cannon on the car with the DeepBlaster project, creating visualizations of your home or office with the Mapping project, or coming up with new ways of racing your friends and colleagues with the DeepDriver project, you can do all that and more with the open source code and sample projects.

Documentation is available in GitHub and open for collaboration with thousands of community members in the AWS DeepRacer Slack channel. The only limit to what you can do with AWS DeepRacer is your imagination (and, well, the laws of physics).