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AI collaboration will let robots think for themselves

07 October, 2016

The Japanese robot-maker Fanuc has teamed up with the computer technology specialist Nvidia to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to robotics to boost productivity and to bring new capabilities to automated factories.

The partners will use AI to give robots the ability to teach themselves to perform tasks faster and more efficiently, and to work together, so that a task that would previously have taken one robot eight hours to complete, could now be done by eight robots in an hour.

The robots will be able to learn on their own, instead of being programmed painstakingly for each function they need to perform.

The technology is based on “deep learning" software, accelerated using Nvidia GPUs (graphics processing units), which will support AI in the cloud, in data centres and embedded in devices. The AI will be implemented on Fanuc’s Field (Fanuc Intelligent Edge Link and Drive) platform, which combines AI with edge computing to process “edge-heavy” sensor data from machines to allow them to collaborate intelligently and flexibly.

“Advances in artificial intelligence will allow robots to watch, learn and improve their capabilities,” predicts Fanuc’s executive managing officer, Kiyonori Inaba. “Deep learning will also cut down the time-consuming programming of robot behaviour. We are thrilled to be advancing the robotics revolution with Nvidia.”

Artificial intelligence will allow robots to collaborate with each other to share tasks

“The age of AI is here,” adds Nvidia’s founder and CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang. “‎GPU deep learning ignited this new wave of computing where software learns and machines reason. One of the most exciting creations will be intelligent robots that can understand their environment and interact with people.

“The factory of the future will be powered by AI,” Huang predicts. “Robots will work closely with people, and they will be able to learn by themselves.”

“Nvidia,” he says, “is delighted to partner with Fanuc, the world’s leading industrial robot and factory automation company, to realise a future where intelligent machines accelerate the advancement of humanity.”




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