Speech-Controlled Drones and Bots for Enterprises

March 7, 2017 - 5 Comments

Speech control of drones and robots is so popular these days that a simple Google search reveals about 14 million results on the topic. However, many of these projects are meant for hands-on technical people as opposed to business or operational folks interested mainly in outcomes. Wait no more. Cisco is already in the process of enabling speech-controlled drones and bots for secure enterprise requirements. It’s highly likely they’ll become an integral part of Cisco’s Autonomous Systems Application Platform (ASAP) in the future.

Bringing enterprise-grade security, reliability and scalability to speech- and gesture-controlled bots can unleash the real business value.

Cisco’s Karan Sheth collaborated with Built.io’s Nishant Patel and team to create a collection of enterprise-class, speech-controlled bots. As described in the diagram above, a user’s arbitrary speech or Spark commands were delivered to Cisco’s private cloud environment over Built.io’s cloud and secure enterprise gateway infrastructure. Once inside the secure infrastructure, even the smallest of hardware like Raspberry Pi could execute intended workflow commands without worrying about security or access control.

On the output side, once the results were ready to share, Built.io’s enterprise gateway and cloud engines were once again used to seamlessly deliver outcomes to intended recipients over a multitude of interfaces, including Spark rooms, Tropo text messages, emails, and more.

Riding on the success of this small initial experiment, the team embarked upon a generalized scenario testing as depicted below. Any set of sensors, drones, robots, business workflows, or scripts can be trigged using the same mechanism with result sharing happening in a dynamic, highly collaborative environment.

Check out a short video of a private-cloud drone flying via Google Home speech commands as well as Spark bot commands and posting the results back in the Spark room–all while seamlessly and securely transferring from Built.io’s and Spark’s public cloud to Cisco’s private cloud devices.

Cisco’s exciting co-innovation journey is creating big ideas—and big results. Join us as we continue making amazing things happen via drones and bots.


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  1. This is a really good blog Biren. Short and to the point and your graphics enabled me to grasp further detail. The video example was both informative and fun. I am currently writing a blog on 5G IoT with drone management as an example and will add the url for this blog in my article.

  2. Biren and Karan- this is a really cool integration, and might be something to show off at Cisco Live US in June. Let’s discuss how we show this to our customers at the event.

    One comment- are you aware of ASAP being used for our Data Center strategy? Analyze, Simplify, Automate, Protect http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/data-center-virtualization/index.html

    • Thx Sean for the comment. Yes we’re aware of the ASAP acronym used in the DC domain, but the eventual product name would be different, we’re flying (pun intended) with it for now.

  3. Fabulous blog Biren. Awesome work and can’t wait to give it a go!

  4. Biren, It is very exciting to hear Cisco’s entry (thru ASAP) into use of non-conventional albeit easily available interfaces (like Voice Control -Alexa, Google, Siri etc) to do everyday tasks. As you already know, the use cases for such innovative use of multiple interfaces in applications are unlimited. I have been talking with my daughter about a hypothetical (today but could be reality in near future) BCI (Brain Computer Interface) that could record all human brain waves= thoughts and then could be used for behavior modification (with automated responses via various stimuli) or many other purposes. Tremendous times we live in. Thanks for sharing.