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Israeli-Japanese venture announces commercial launch of robot employees

Written by NoCamels Published on 

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In December, MusashiAI launched the world’s first agency offering robots for hire in factories and other industrial environments.

The joint Israeli-Japanese venture MusashiAI, which includes Israeli robotics company SixAI and Japan’s Musashi Seimitsu, an affiliate company of Honda Motor Corporation, announced on Monday the commercial availability of its autonomous visual quality control inspector, autonomous forklift driver, and disruptive mobile robot fleet management system.

MusashiAI’s Central Fleet Management System is used to effectively manage swarms of SDV (self-driving vehicle) employees.

In December, MusashiAI launched the world’s first agency offering robots for hire in factories and other industrial environments to introduce more automation, digitalization, and AI processes into advanced manufacturing or Industry 4.0.

Live trials from the launch confirm that the joint venture’s unique autonomous robotic visual inspector exceeds the speed, accuracy, and stamina of human workers in a world-first technological advance, the companies said in a statement.

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The autonomous forklift driver also “exceeds modeled expectations with unparalleled efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and safety standard, using a unique technology that combines ‘bird’s-eye’ view cameras above the factory floor and a central processing unit,” the announcement said.

In addition to its initial commitment with advance payment of USD 10 million, Musashi Seimitsu is expected to expand the deployment of MusashiAI’s autonomous quality control inspectors and autonomous forklift drivers in its factories globally, subject to the company meeting certain development milestones.

The company has also secured a proof of concept (POC) for the quality control inspector with one of the world’s largest bearing manufacturers, and three POCs for the autonomous forklift drivers and central management system with leading Israeli retail and FMCG groups, starting in the fourth quarter of this year. These agreements mark the first time the robots are being tested outside of the Musashi Seimitsu group.

The MusashiAI visual inspector robot. Photo from SixAI’s website via NoCamels.

An advanced form of deep learning that parallels the way the human brain absorbs and assimilates information was central to MusashiAI’s latest robotic models. Redeploying and switching robots between tasks is now much easier. These improvements are what the company anticipates will be essential for many social-distanced industrial settings in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

SixAI—founded by a team of Israeli professionals led by serial entrepreneur Ran Poliakine, the founder and former CEO of wireless power solutions company Powermat Technologies—and Musashi Seimitsu first announced the venture in 2019 at an event in Tokyo.

Read this: Israeli robot deployed in Asia to minimize coronavirus spread

“Our vision is that the robots integrate easily onto production floors where there will still be some human workers, but others will be released from the drudgery of visual inspection and forklift driving. To our knowledge, no one else offers visual robots which surpass the skills of human workers as ours do,” Poliakine said.

The interest from Musashi Seimitsu coupled with SixAI’s latest finalized POC trials with a world-leading manufacturer and three leading Israeli logistics companies “is a great sign of confidence in our technology and the gifts it brings to the future of humanity. I am excited about the company’s next steps,” he added.

This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.

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