Organising a DeepRacer Event
It's great that you want to organise an AWS DeepRacer event. Depending on your circumstances it can take a number of forms. While we have already had some meetups and workshops organised by AWS, organisations and individual enthusiasts, there are many possible ways to run an event. As a community we are determined to build a set of resources to make it easier for you to organise your own event and are counting on your feedback to provide a complete guide for those who follow. The best place to start is to visit the #meetup-organisation channel in the community Slack.
Key elements for an event:
- target group
- desired format
- AWS DeepRacer
- a track
Let's discuss them slightly more.
To teach and encourage new members into the DeepRacer world. Have their training efforts show off in the real track with a friendly league competition (fastest lap wins).
Anybody and everybody interested in Machine learning, no prior experience required. Although anyone can get involved it's nice to have attendees interested in Machine learning.
Any area large enough for a physical track. 8x10 metres is the largest track out at the moment. (2019 Championship Track), though at the time of writing it isn't available to order yet.
The track is usually the most tricky part of preparing for an event - if you want physical racing to happen you need the space (re:Invent 2018: 5x8m, re:Invent 2019: 10x8m) and the track itself.
Read more in Preparing a racing track.
An alternative solution is to borrow a track: AWS DeepRacer track owners
Anya would like to create a DeepRacer group at work. She has taken part in AWS DeepRacer Virtual League and liked it, and has learned a lot. She believes her team would also like it and the company would benefit from new knowledge. She doesn't have a car or a track.
Goal: education, team building Target group: colleagues at the company Venue: company office AWS DeepRacer: None Track: None
What Anya could try doing is to present AWS DeepRacer at a tech chat. The presentation could describe:
- the car
- the league
- machine learning and where reinforcement learning fits in
- how AWS DeepRacer learns
- what other skills one can obtain
- her experience with AWS DeepRacer
- encouragement to build a racing team at the company
Based on the output, Anya can follow up with a workshop to help others train their first model and, if a race is ongoing, submit it for the competition. Such workshop could describe:
- AWS DeepRacer Console
- reward function
- PPO algorithm
- AWS Sagemaker - mention where the training job is happening
- AWS Robomaker - show the simulation job and what elements one can view
- CloudWatch - show where the logs are
- S3 - the layout of the bucket
One thing that should be considered is whether the company would allow for employees to train using company accounts. If yes, certain permissions need to be granted. Optionally separate accounts can be created and disposed of after the workshop: read the documentation. If not, users need to have free tier accounts. Do warn about the costs.
If the racing continues, other topics could include: log analysis, training using SageMaker notebook example, advanced training techniques.
You can see that a lot can be made without a car or the track. Depending on company involvement and interest it may be possible to obtain a car and a track or invite an organisation that has those and offers a day racing, for instance AWS.
- Tomasz Ptak - How I use AWS DeepRacer to introduce and promote machine learning at OpenMarket (link goes to OpenMarket tech blog)
Meetups are one of the formats and announcement channels that you may be considering. DeepRacer Meetups list