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

There’s a mythology around today’s factories that says everything is automated by robotics, and while there is some truth to that, it’s hard to bring that level of sophistication to every facility, especially those producing relatively small Today, Bright Machines, a San Fra…

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

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The product it is releasing today is called the Software Defined Microfactory and it consists of hardware and software components 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 explained.

The company is concentrating on the assembly line for starters, especially when building smaller runs like say a specialized computer board or a network appliance where the manufacturer might produce just 50,000 in total, and could benefit from automation, but couldn’t justify the cost before. “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.

Company CEO Amar Hanspal understands it’s a challenging goal, and today’s announcement is about delivering version 1. 0 of that vision. “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 said.

It’s also required having testing partners. “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 said.

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