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The next generation of industrial automation is combining artificial intelligence with robotics hardware for new applications. OSARO Inc. today announced that it is providing software to product development company INNOTECH Corp. for a new mobile Piece Picking Station.
OSARO, which has offices in San Francisco and Tokyo, said it combines machine learning for object recognition with motion control software to deliver industrial automation productivity. The company said its artificial intelligence software adapts to customer data and environments and is tightly integrated with every major industrial arm and gripper. OSARO was founded in 2015 and began deploying its systems in Japan in early 2018. It raised $16 million a year ago and has raised $29.3 million to date.
Yokohama, Japan-based INNOTECH provides technology and support for product development and manufacturing. Since 2000, the company has offered hardware, software, and consulting for customers’ design, development, and mass-production activities.
OSARO and INNOTECH combine expertise
Factories, warehouses, and distribution centers all need automation that can select single products from jumbled bins or individually stacked containers and then place each one in a specified position, said OSARO. Such piece picking involves complex development elements, such as image processing using a 3D camera, handling design, robot learning, and fine-tuning of the surrounding environment.
The mobile picking robot is the first collaboration of OSARO and INNOTECH. The system combines a mobile robot cell, OSARO piece-picking software and machine learning models, as well as related INNOTECH services, including systems integration, training, and support.
The INNOTECH Piece Picking Station also uses OSARO’s application programming interface (API). This provides flexibility for defining missions and image-inference requests to enable robots to perform in a wide variety of environments, said OSARO. In addition to enhancing productivity, automation can help to create more robust supply chains with reduced susceptibility to infectious disease and labor shortages, according to the partners.
Robot to be introduced at new picking lab
The companies are introducing the system at the INNOTECH AI Picking Lab in Japan. They said the pick-and-place system will enable INNOTECH to provide a complete solution for logistics customers and factory automation requirements.
“We look forward to continuing our work with INNOTECH as the lab uses OSARO robotics automation software to develop new products and solutions for industrial automation,” stated Derik Pridmore, co-founder and CEO of OSARO.
The robot, described as a step toward “general purpose” mobile units, will be exhibited at INTERPHEX JAPAN 2020 at Makuhari Messe from Nov. 25-27, 2020.
“We expect this unit will accelerate the automation of factories and distribution warehouses that OSARO and Innotech are working on,” said Yosuke Kaburagi, director of INNOTECH. “We aim to provide a service that delivers smarter, more capable automated robots more quickly to customers who are considering automation. This exhibition is an important opportunity to experience in real time the advanced technology of OSARO AI. We will take all safety measures to insure against infectious disease.”
“The entire OSARO team has contributed their AI and machine learning expertise to the new collaborative effort with Innotech, and we are delighted to jointly announce the Piece Picking Station,” Pridmore said. “We look forward to a long-term relationship with Innotech as they bring new solutions to market, support customer automation projects, and develop new products.”
The Innotech Piece Picking Station will be available in January 2021 to improve productivity for food, medicine, and cosmetics businesses.