The pace of innovation is quickening across all industries, including manufacturing and the intelligent factories of Industry 4.0. Unlocking the value of data via machine learning is propelling us into this next phase, and innovations in industrial IoT devices are helping manufacturers continually enhance operational efficiency.
Robotics already play a central role in this new era of hyper-agility and autonomous production, and their importance to industrial processes will continue to grow. Between 2017 and 2027, the projected compound annual growth rate of commercial robots will be 63.2 percent, per ABI Research.¹ These projections are in keeping with our own research, which points to a positive shift in manufacturers’ perceptions of intelligent factories and automation: 59 percent of manufacturing participants wanted “intelligent” solutions to take on manual or labor-intensive jobs, and 62 percent wanted smart machines that can partner with humans to complete tasks.²
Even as attitudes change, however, integrating innovative AI technologies into their operations can present significant challenges for manufacturers and their existing infrastructures. Environments can quickly become too complex to manage, negating any boosts in efficiency these innovations provide. Development can be time-consuming, difficult, and expensive. To help make new AI technologies easier to adopt, there’s a need for modern software development and cloud deployments at the edge.
The UP Squared RoboMaker Developer Kit, powered by Intel and AWS, offers a simpler way to develop, test, and deploy AI-enabled robotics applications at scale. With clear tutorials, developers can quickly learn to build hardware from the module level and use cloud services to shorten development time. Rather than spending months setting up a development environment and building simulations and deployment systems, this kit makes it possible to go from prototype to field deployment in days.
“The UP Squared RoboMaker Developer Kit is the first robotics kit in production which bridges the gap between the virtual testing environment and the field. The deep integration of the hardware delivers an unprecedented experience to the developer speeding up the time to production,” says Fabrizio Del Maffeo, VP of AAEON Technology.³
To enable machine learning and vision at the edge, this dev kit features an UP Squared board with an Intel® Atom™ processor, Intel® Movidius™ Myriad™ X VPU, Intel® RealSense™ Camera, and the Intel® Distribution of the OpenVINO™ toolkit all on a single, scalable platform. My colleague Jonathan Ballon has written at length about Intel’s democratization of AI and the transformative potential of the OpenVINO toolkit for the healthcare industry. The same holds true for the industrial sector.
A product of close collaboration with AWS and AAEON, the kit’s components and software are designed to function optimally together. Full compatibility with AWS RoboMaker extends the open-source robotics software framework, Robot Operating System (ROS), to the cloud, allowing developers to take advantage of cloud APIs and free up local compute resources. AWS also provides a fleet management service for remote deployment, updates, and management of robotics applications.⁴
Providing developers with a simpler way to add machine learning and vision to their edge computing applications opens up a world of possibilities. With the kit doing the heavy lifting of development, they’re free to focus on creating robots that can truly transform their operations. By empowering manufacturers to tap into the immense potential of AI, Intel is helping deliver on the promise of Industry 4.0.