Getting Started

Everything you need to know to get started with Formant.

    Intro to remote debugging tools

    Formant provides several ways to see what a robot is seeing in the field. Information such as metrics, images, point clouds, lidar, location, and localization are all readily accessible to remote operators. On some occasions, the need arises for developers and operators to directly interact with a robot. This section introduces the tools available within Formant to allow for that remote interaction.

    SSH

    Robots are commonly deployed behind what are known as network address translation (NAT) devices. These are important security devices, which minimize the means and methods that can be used to gain access to a robot. Most notably, NATs ensure that one cannot dial directly into a robot, because it does not have a static, global address and port. With the Formant agent running on your device, you can connect directly to your robots using SSH, while maintaining the integral security provided by NATs.

    Commands

    Commands are directives sent to a device to perform a specific task. With the Formant platform, one can issue any and all manner of commands, in a completely remote setting. One can use either the built-in commands provided by Formant or create custom commands using Formant API (and utilize them directly from the UI).

    Remote application configuration

    Remote application configuration is a way to customize the behavior of your application using in-app parameters. This can be used to implement feature flags, adjust log level settings, stream configurations, or virtually any other setting that alters the behavior of the application dynamically. Some real-world examples of using remote application configuration in robotics are:

    • Changing frame rate, clip distance, and other camera-related settings
    • Setting autonomy specific coefficients and parameters
    • Setting safety limits for velocity, acceleration, and minimum safe distances

      


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