FANUC to build factory of the future using NVIDIA AI platform


12 Oct 2016 Tokyo - NVIDIA and FANUC Corporation have signed a collaboration to implement artificial intelligence on the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system to increase robotics productivity and bring new 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. By learning together, what used to take a single robot 8 hours can now be done by eight robots in an hour.

"The age of AI is here", stated 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. NVIDIA is delighted to partner with FANUC, the world leader of industrial robotics, to realize a future where intelligent machines accelerate the advancement of humanity."

Building the factory of the future will have wide-ranging impact. The International Federation of Robotics predicts the deployment of industrial robots will increase to around 2.6 million units worldwide by 2019 - up from 1 million in 2015. These robots are central to the global manufacturing process used to make everything from cars to mobile phones.

"Advances in artificial intelligence will allow robots to watch, learn and improve their capabilities", stated Kiyonori Inaba, Board Member, Executive Managing Officer and General Manager of FANUC. "Deep learning will also cut down the time-consuming programming of robot behaviour. We are thrilled to be advancing the robotics revolution with NVIDIA."

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 center and embedded within devices.

These next-generation capabilities will include:

  • Deep learning robot training with NVIDIA GPUs
  • GPU-accelerated AI inference in FANUC Fog units used to drive robots and machines
  • Embedded systems for robots to do inference locally
Source: NVIDIA