Hitachi is aiming to utilize deep learning and edge computing technologies to make machines intelligent, in order to improve productivity. In pursuit of this, it has formed an automation joint venture with industrial robot and factory automation company Fanuc and AI-startup Preferred Networks.
Intelligent Edge System will utilize AI technologies in the social and industrial infrastructure field. It will develop fast, real-time control systems for network-connected industrial robots and machine tools. These control systems will leverage deep learning AI technology to become smarter over time as linked machines manufacture products.
Preferred Networks will use its deep learning AI technology to process information more efficiently and speed up data analysis. This is hoped to boost production line productivity and allow robots to recognize things and adjust their moves accordingly. Robots will also be able to automatically take on the task of an adjacent robot on the production line in case it breaks down.
Edge computing will help the initiative by handling the task at the edge of the network instead of centrally processing data. This will let machines on the production line process the massive amount of data, such as the movement of mechanical hands, on the spot.
Preferred Networks has already applied its AI expertise for Toyota Motor and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone. Toyota Motor invested in the startup for the development of autonomous vehicles that can learn various driving conditions by processing data by themselves rather than relying on cloud computing.