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ITRI Showcases AI and Robotics Technologies at CES 2020

Published: Dec 12,2019

HSINCHU, Taiwan - 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.

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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.

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