Some discoveries and innovations are incorporated subtly over many years, while others lead to radical new breakthroughs that disrupt existing markets. But what of today? What new technologies are available right now that can help advance the manufacturing operations of 2018?
Data storage in the IoT
Among the overlooked challenges of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the large amount of captured data that has to be stored somewhere. Over the years industry has seen megabytes run into gigabytes, and gigabytes turn into terabytes.
With the aim of addressing this issue, Mitsubishi Electric R&D has developed a high-performance database with the ability to reduce the required storage space by 98.5%. Significantly, because the volume is reduced, the load time for the database is also decreased by around 98%, which in turn means the search time reduces accordingly.
Artificial intelligence gets real
From blockbuster movies to the doom-laden predictions of sci-fi writers, AI is both scary and hugely exciting. Much of what has materialised to date has been impressive, but of little practical benefit, primarily because of two key issues. The first is the tethering of a super computer: if industry really needs that much computing power, it is hard to see how AI will be usable. The second is the realisation that AI, just like a human baby, needs to be taught or shown how to learn some basic rules around the task at hand.
To turn AI into a practical solution for today, Mitsubishi Electric R&D has been focused on both of these key issues. The result is Maisart (Mitsubishi Electric’s AI creates the State-of-the-ART in technology). Maisart has miniaturised the AI algorithm to the point where it can be deployed on a single chip embedded in other products.
Proven track record
Of course, Mitsubishi Electric has registered many notable technological breakthroughs over the years. Take interactive vision-guided robots in the postal industry, for example. The surge in global parcel traffic has been spurred in recent times by the success of online retail giants such as Amazon.
This example, like many others of yesterday, today and tomorrow, means that Mitsubishi Electric R&D successes not only lead the world in terms of technology, but deliver real benefits and create new automation solutions for a brighter future. Moving forward, industry expects an enhanced human, machine and AI environment that will deliver many positive benefits for all concerned. Imagination, it would appear, is the only limitation.