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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has created a new industrial robotics company called Intrinsic.
Directed by Wendy Tan-Blanc, a seasoned entrepreneur and investor who was vice-president of “moonshots” within Alphabet’s R&D activity X since 2019, Intrinsic has been committed to “unleashing the creative and economic potential” of $ 42 billion industrial robotics market. The company said it was creating “software tools” to make industrial robots more affordable and easier to use, extending their usefulness beyond large businesses and to more people – right now. 70% of global manufacturing takes place in only 10 countries.
Industrial robots have increased demand over the past year as companies grappled with growing demand in the wake of the global pandemic – in the first quarter of this year, the Association for Advancing Automation recorded a 19.6% increase in orders across North America only. While these robots have historically been concentrated in the automotive industry, they have divided into several facets of the economy of e-commerce warehouses at assembly of medical equipment.
Developing agile and efficient robotic arms is only part of the battle in terms of automating traditional manufacturing tasks. The process of “teaching” robots how to do a relatively simple task can be a resource-intensive endeavor requiring specialist expertise, and this is the part that Intrinsic is working on.
“Over the past few years, our team has explored how to give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn and automatically make adjustments as they complete tasks, so that they operate in a wider range of settings and applications, ”said Tan-White wrote in a blog post. “Working collaboratively with Alphabet teams and with our partners in real-world manufacturing environments, we have tested software that uses techniques such as automated perception, deep learning, reinforcement learning, movement planning, simulation and force control. “
This is just the start for Intrinsic, but as an independent company, it will be in a better position to develop its software and validate its products in more real industrial environments. Indeed, the company said it was looking for partners in the healthcare, electronics and automotive industries who “already use industrial robotics and want to learn together.”
Intrinsic joins a host of previous projects to graduate from Alphabet’s Secret X Laboratories, including its Waymo autonomous car unit; Loon and Wing, its internet beaming balloons and drone delivery service units, respectively; and Malta, its molten salt energy storage project.
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