ITRI Showcases AI and Robotics Technologies at CES 2020
Technologies include Mobile Arm Robot System, AI Camera for Baby Care, Robot with Smart Joints, Mechavision Tactile Sensing Technology, Cloud Gaming System, Micro LED Technology
HSINCHU, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CES2020–The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan’s largest and one of the world’s leading high-tech applied research institutions, today announced it will introduce and demonstrate AI and robotics technologies at its booth 25650, LVCC, South Hall 2 at CES 2020. ITRI’s featured technologies include the Mobile Arm Robot System (MARS), a smart integrated service robot platform combining mobility, sensing, manipulation, and human-machine interaction functions; and GenkiCam, an AI camera that can identify a baby’s emotions, monitor its heartbeat and breathing, and immediately inform parents of any abnormality. At ITRI’s booth, MARS will move around to greet visitors, take photos, and give away gifts. Visitors can show GenkiCam their angry or happy faces and let the camera identify their emotions.
The Mobile Arm Robot System (MARS) is an integrated autonomous mobile platform incorporating high-efficiency wheel drive modules, 2D/3D sensors, flexible multi-joint robotic arms and AI vision capabilities. MARS is suitable for indoor applications, particularly in inspection services or in light industry, such as inventory checks for large shopping malls or retail stores. Using AI visual scanning detection, MARS can send out-of-stock notifications and generate replenishment lists. When customers misplace goods after viewing, ITRI’s MARS can issue alerts and remove the misplaced items from the shelf, keeping the display neat and tidy.
Recently, the demand for robots with autonomous navigation and inspection capabilities has increased. For example, a giant U.S. retailer introduced a shelf-tracking robot to replace human employees in performing inventory inspection to improve replenishment efficiency and accuracy. However, this type of robot can only detect on-shelf availability but cannot manage greater disorder such as misplacement of goods by employees or customers. In contrast, ITRI’s MARS uses its smart vision system and flexible arm to relocate goods, improving shelf maintenance and enhancing customer satisfaction.
The mobile platform of MARS uses a suspended two-wheel differential drive capable of fast linear response and rotation. The robotics system can adapt to uneven indoor floors and cross ground wires. While moving, MARS fuses information from LiDAR and depth vision sensors to plan routes and avoid obstacles. The highly flexible robot arm with an AI vision system and an adaptable gripper enables wide-angle perception and precise object retrieval. It can work with people, includes a speech system and provides friendly reminders about safety rules and work procedures for human workers. MARS’s software is ROS (Robot Operation System) compatible and allows secondary development of AI vision, platform drive, arm flexibility, etc.
GenkiCam is an AI camera and monitoring device for baby care. The edge-computing camera can identify whether a baby is happy, has its face covered, or is vomiting. It can monitor a baby’s heartbeat and breathing and can immediately inform parents of any abnormality such as sleep apnea. GenkiCam uses deep learning technology to alert parents’ smartphones of dangerous events to ensure infant safety. GenkiCam can also capture a baby’s smiles so parents can record and enjoy these happy moments. To create GenkiCam, researchers first collected and labeled more than 500,000 images of different baby faces, and then designed a deep-learning architecture to classify the facial expressions and identify dangerous events. The accuracy of abnormal event detection is higher than 95 percent, allowing parents to manage housework and improve their sleep. GenkiCam’s smooth and amiable appearance provides a gentle presence.
Unlike other baby cameras, GenkiCam has AI capabilities at the embedded edge. With multi-core CPU and an AI intellectual property core, the AI capabilities can still function and ensure baby care even though the external Internet is disconnected, and the RGB/IR camera module functions in any lighting environment.
Additional AI and robotic technologies at ITRI’s booth include:
- Robot with Smart Joints reduces design difficulty and occupied volume of the electric control box of a robot manipulator by integrating the motor and driver into a joint module for each joint of the robot manipulator. The number of the smart joints are determined by the different applications. The weight, payload, and repeatability of the 6-DOF robot respectively are 15 kg, 5 kg, and 0.02 mm, which allow the robot to achieve high positioning accuracy and repeatability. At ITRI’s booth, the robot will demonstrate its high-accuracy movement in an electric maze game; visitors compete with the robot by attempting to move a rod through a maze without touching the metal sides in a shorter time than the robot.
- ITRI Cloud Gaming, a virtual mobility infrastructure (VMI) cloud gaming system backed by an ARM SOC cluster, breaks the rule requiring players to download a game to the terminal device. With VMI, the cloud gaming mode moves the workload from the player’s device to the data center. Players simply can play a game without downloading it. Through integration with an AI training system, game developers can simulate player behaviors from the battles collected in the data center and reduce game development time. At ITRI’s booth, visitors can play the game Minecraft via ITRI’s mobile phone without downloading the game.
- Micro LED Technology and Applications is a micro LED display featuring low power consumption and high brightness. Through innovative “pixel area release” technology, the display integrates sensing functions between pixels and brightness is adjusted automatically according to indoor/outdoor ambient light conditions. Panel size can be defined freely, and maintenance expenses are largely saved. In 2019, ITRI developed fine pitch passive matrix micro-LED display modules by directly transferring μLED arrays onto PCB substrates. This fine pitch μLED display panel breaks the bottleneck of conventional LED display which has been constrained by the limitation of reaching pixel pitch less than 1mm. A micro-LED signage module will be on display at ITRI’s booth.
- Mechavision Inc., an ITRI spinoff company, provides efficient tactile sensing solutions for robotics and partners with many leading companies in the robotics industry. Mechavision’s main product, Contact Skin, is a highly sensitive tactile skin that immediately triggers the emergency stop of a robot when sensing a firm touch. It can be applied to human-robot collaborative scenarios and complies with ISO 13849 (Cat.3, PL d) and ISO/TS 15066. Mechavision has been working with Mitsubishi Electric on transmitting information to the cloud via PLC control software to offer instant manufacturing status for factory managers. At ITRI’s booth, the moving robotic arm will stop immediately when it senses a touch.
Photos and videos are available here.
ITRI’s CES 2020 online press kit is available here.
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is one of the world’s leading technology R&D institutions aiming to innovate a better future for society. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan’s industries from labor-intensive into innovation-driven. It focuses on the fields of Smart Living, Quality Health, and Sustainable Environment.
Over the years, ITRI has incubated over 280 innovative companies, including well-known names such as UMC and TSMC. In addition to its headquarters in Taiwan, ITRI has branch offices in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in an effort to extend its R&D scope and promote opportunities for international cooperation around the world. For more information, please visit: http://www.itri.org/eng.
Bernadette De Mesa
Graham & Associates, Inc.