Bright Machines wants to put AI-driven automation in every factory


There’s a mythology round in the present day’s factories that claims the whole lot is automated by robotics, and whereas there’s some fact to that, it’s arduous to deliver that stage of sophistication to each facility, particularly these producing comparatively small runs. At this time, Bright Machines, a San Francisco startup introduced its first product designed to place intelligence and automation in attain of each producer, no matter its dimension.

The startup, which emerged final fall with $179 million in Series A funding, has a mission to make each side of producing run in a software-defined automated style. Firm CEO Amar Hanspal understands it’s a difficult objective, and in the present day’s announcement is about delivering model of that imaginative and prescient.

“We have this ambitious idea to fundamentally change the way factories operate, and what we are all about is to get to autonomous programmable factories,” he mentioned. To start out on that journey, since getting its preliminary funding in October, the corporate has been constructing a workforce that features manufacturing, software program and synthetic intelligence experience. It introduced in individuals from Autodesk, Amazon and Microsoft and opened places of work in Seattle and Tel Aviv.

The product it’s releasing in the present day known as the Software program Outlined Microfactory and it consists of {hardware} and software program parts that work in tandem. “What the Software Defined Microfactory does is package together robotics, computer vision, machine handling and converged systems in a modular way with hardware that you can plug and play, then the software comes in to instruct the factory on what to build and how to build it,” Hanspal defined.

Clearly, this isn’t a straightforward factor to do, and it’s taken an excessive amount of experience to tug it collectively over the past months for the reason that funding. It’s additionally required having testing companions. “We have about 20 product brands around the world and about 25 production lines in seven countries that have been iterating with us toward version one, what we are releasing today,” Hanspal mentioned.

The corporate is concentrating on the meeting line for starters, particularly when constructing smaller runs like say a specialised laptop board or a community equipment the place the producer may produce simply 50,000 in complete, and may benefit from automation, however couldn’t justify the price earlier than.

“The idea here is going after the least automated part inside of factory, which is the assembly line, which is typically where people have to throw bodies at the problem and assembly lines have been hard to automate. The operations around assembly typically require human dexterity and judgment, trying to align things or plug things in,” Hanspal mentioned.

The hope is to create a collection of templates for various sorts of tooling, the place they will get nearly all of the way in which there with the software program and robotics, and ultimately simply need to work on the extra custom-made bits. It’s an bold objective, and it’s not going to be simple to tug off, however in the present day’s launch is a primary step.


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