Artificial intelligence (AI) remains a major buzz word across many industries, including manufacturing. Third-party service providers touting their often-expensive AI-based technologies can make AI look even more mysterious than it already is. Giving up internal expertise and control to any external contractor can be equally expensive with unclear profits.
Becoming flexible with ai
AI should not just be used as a means of optimizing processes that have long been automated. The real potential is to do something completely new with the technology. Tasks that were previously done by humans or physical machines can now be done by AI-controlled software powering robots. This increases flexibility and traceability for the robots.
Few AI professionals are available; does the industry need them? As the history of digitalization demonstrates, there has always been a limited number of specialists for new technologies. Instead of paying for external resources to lead an AI project, manufacturers will be able to buy products that provide essential AI functions in such a way that can be used without outside assistance.
Building trust in new technology
The second hurdle is the technology itself, which initially seems inscrutable to many. There are also calls for AIs to make their decision paths understandable, ideally in comprehensible rules following the if-then-else pattern. What is needed instead for building trust in these systems are testable, reliable systems.
Automating manual workstations
AI-based robot control solution can flexibly automate manual workstations. Picking parts, tracking contours, plugging cables, assembling products can all be implemented with a single small camera on the robot’s wrist. Since all components can be flexibly trained for new tasks, the robot arm together with the AI software can be used at different points in production.
Build ai expertise internally
There are many AI products emerging at the moment for use in manufacturing. The technology enables more flexibility, independence, resilience, and efficiency. The market must offer products that can be learned in an exploratory manner and thus allow the AI to be trusted. If this succeeds, a major automation wave comparable to the introduction of PC technology is possible.
Micropsi Industries is a software company that provides ready-to-use AI systems for controlling industrial robots. Microspi has raised about $9 million over six funding rounds and has 35 employees. Its MIRAI controller generates robot movements directly and in real-time, is compatible with ABB and Universal Robots.