1660253948836 Abbrobotssortingdifferentpackageswithcovariantaisb

ABB partners with Covariant for integrated AI robotic solutions

March 10, 2020
Covariant was the winner of ABB global competition to find a leading AI partner for co-developing intelligent robotics technologies.

ABB and Silicon Valley AI start-up, Covariant, have partnered up to bring AI-enabled robotics solutions to market, starting with a fully autonomous warehouse order fulfillment solution.

(Source: ABB)

According to ABB, the partnership brings together the two companies with a vision for robotics enabled by AI, where intelligent robots work alongside humans in dynamic environments, collectively learning and improving with every task completed.

ABB launched a global competition in 2019 to assess 20 leading AI technology start-ups on their approach to solutions for 26 real-world picking, packing and sorting challenges. The aim was to understand if AI is mature enough to unlock the potential for robotics and automation in the segment. ABB also sought a technology partner with which to co-develop an AI solution capable of supporting autonomous materials handling, enabling its robots to handle items of infinite variety.

The Covariant Brain is a universal AI that allows robots to see, reason and act in the world around them, completing tasks too complex and varied for traditional programmed robots. Covariant’s software enables robots to engage in reinforcement learning: adapting to new tasks on their own through trial and error and therefore constantly broadening the range of objects they can pick.

"Our partnership with Covariant is part of our strategy to expand into new growth sectors such as distribution and e-commerce and to leverage the scaling potential in these fields," said Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s robotics and discrete automation business.

“If you want to advance artificial intelligence, we now need to take it out of the laboratory and apply it to the real world," said Covariant’s chief executive and co-founder Peter Chen.

The first installation of the ABB and Covariant AI-enabled solution is already being deployed at Active Ants (part of the bpost group), a provider of e-commerce fulfilment services for web businesses in Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Sponsored Recommendations

2024 State of Technology Report: Motors, Drives & Motion

Motion makes manufacturing move. Motors and drives are at the core of industrial operations. Without them, production comes to a halt. This new State of Technology Report from...

Case Study: Conveyor Solution for Unique Application

Find out how the Motion Automation Intelligence Conveyor Engineering team provided a new and reliable conveyance solution that helped a manufacturer turn downtime into uptime....

2024 State of Technology Report: PLCs & PACs

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have been a popular method of machine control since the PLC was invented in the late 1960s as a replacement for relay logic. The similarly...

Power Distribution Resource Guide

When it comes to selecting the right power supply, there are many key factors and best practices to consider.