Fanuc & Nvidia announce AI collaboration

Nvidia and Fanuc Corporation have announced that they will be collaborating to implement artificial intelligence on the Fanuc Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system to increase robotics productivity and add on to existing capabilities to automated factories worldwide.

Adding AI to the FIELD system will give robots the ability to teach themselves to do tasks faster and more efficiently. Both companies claimed that by learning together, what used to take a single robot 8 hours can now be done by eight robots in an hour.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, the deployment of industrial robots will increase to around 2.6 million units worldwide by 2019 — up from one million in 2015. These robots are central to the global manufacturing process used to make everything from cars to mobile phones.

“The age of AI is here,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia. “‎GPU deep learning ignited this new wave of computing where software learns and machines reason. One of the most exciting creations will be intelligent robots that can understand their environment and interact with people.”

“Advances in artificial intelligence will allow robots to watch, learn and improve their capabilities,” said Kiyonori Inaba, board member, executive managing officer and general manager of Fanuc. “Deep learning will also cut down the time-consuming programming of robot behavior.”

The breakthrough that is enabling AI manufacturing is GPU-accelerated deep learning. Fanuc will use a range of Nvidia GPUs and deep learning software to enable AI in the cloud, the data centre and embedded within devices.

Nvidia mentioned that these next-generation capabilities will include deep learning robot training with Nvidia made GPUs, GPU-accelerated AI inference in Fanuc Fog units used to drive robots and machines and embedded systems for robots to do inference locally.