In recent years, a wave of cross-industry partnerships has emerged in the industry to target trends in AIoT and 5G. The cross-industry partnerships are expected to form comprehensive capabilities to seize opportunities in diversified intelligence applications. To date, there have been more and more cases of partnerships. 5G Drones for highway hillsides, and reservoirs watershed survey combining "perceptive AI" and "fully autonomous AI" to enact disaster prevention, environment protection is one of the examples.
Since its establishment in 1992, Coretronic Corporation has positioned itself as an "innovative display system integrated solution provider." For more than 20 years, Coretronic Corporation demonstrated its technical capabilities in displays, optics, thermal management, materials and precision molds. It actively branched out from its core capabilities to smart robotics, MEMS sensor components, AR/MR, and cloud services in four subsidiaries. Coretronic Corporation CTO and AI Application Research Center Vice President Robert Hsueh stated that the mission of the 4 subsidiaries is to manage various smart application solutions and develop critical, related upstream components, in order to seize the massive opportunities in AIoT and 5G.
Robert Hsueh also emphasized that there are already many companies offering AIoT and 5G related products and solutions today. To build competitive edge over increasingly fierce competition, Coretronic must secure the sources of the technologies. Coretronic not only develops solutions, but also secures critical components and modules upstream, thereby strengthens its competitiveness in the market. Taking the LiDAR sensor as an example, Coretronic develops the state-of-the-art MEMS-based LiDAR sensor which integrates optical machines, system, and signal processing algorithms. Compared to mechanical LiDARs consisting of laser scanning structure currently available in the market, MEMS LiDARs are more compact and lighter, less power consuming, and more reliable. If the cost of these modules fall to an acceptable price in the market, it will explode onto the market.
Coretronic Corporation has been investing in drone development since 2014. From the beginning, the focus has been on "full autonomy". The many years of development is now starting to bear fruit and the company is starting to enter the Japanese market. Besides airborne robots, Coretronic Corporation is also developing land based robots for smart factories, smart logistics, and other specific applications, which includes fully autonomous forklifts/AMR. The selling point of these robots is the integration of image recognition technologies, autonomous navigation, and high-precision motion control. This allows the robots to move stably on uneven surfaces or in narrow corridors. Based on the SLAM-based 3D model, the forklift understands its surroundings and its position, uses AI to identify different pallet types, and connects to the backend assignment system to deliver the goods from point A to point B. The key technologies involved in this process are all related to the four subsidiaries.
CP Wang, senior director of the Coretronic Intelligent Robotics Corporation Career Development Center, stated that when the company started to develop drones in 2014, the company utilized the innovative energy of Silicon Valley to successfully create fully autonomous movement and replace traditional remote control methods. The new system reduces the need for manpower, improves efficiency, and captures data. At the same time, the company discovered that the communication structure is also an important part of the system. Drones do not only need to integrate Edge and AI and incorporate environmental data, they also need to connect to the safety monitoring system of the site, in order to fulfill their roles within a specified range, such as safety maintenance, basic equipment testing, patrols of energy facilities, and 3D project mapping. Therefore, the robots are very reliant on the communication system.
Creating the value of innovative services for users as a verticals expert
It is worth mentioning that as video recording technologies improve exponentially, resolutions have gone from 2K to 4K and now 8K. In addition, cameras are now equipped on airborne drones instead of being stationary on the ground. These improvements in technology allows for the recording of video from a wider range of angles. It is evident that the combination of the vast amount of video data with AI analysis will provide significant benefits to operators of large-scale sites. People are no longer required to inspect every corner of the site and operators can clearly monitor and detect any environmental changes at any time. However, to reach this goal, the reasoning response time of AI must be improved. The use of AIoT smart terminals is not enough. The system must be integrated with 5G to maximize the value of its application.
With regard to smart cloud services, verticals such as smart advertising and smart retail have been introduced at this stage. Starting in 2016, the first smart projection advertising wall was introduced in Taipei MRT, and more precise advertising services were provided through the cloud and crowd analysis technology. More than 20,000 smart advertising billboards have been introduced around Taiwan. In the future, the higher bandwidth, lower latency, and greater number of connections provided by 5G technology will facilitate real-time streaming and two-way interactions, further improve the visual experience. In terms of smart manufacturing, the 5G network is used to construct a digitized manufacturing information platform to achieve real-time transmission and storage safety. Combined with Coretronic Corporation MEMS sensor components and predictive diagnostic AI, real-time monitoring of the equipment can be achieved. In addition, the integration of industrial Internet of Things, autonomous mobile robots, and the Coretronic Corporation smart cloud platform will realize the smart and automated production model of Industry 4.0.
In the future, Coretronic Corporation expects that as the 5G era approaches, the rules of the market will change and form a new business model of B2B2X. The first "B" represents the telecommunications industry; the second "B" represents the verticals expert; and the "X" represents anyone. It could be a person, institution, site, or various smart terminals such as webcams, sensors, robots, AGV, or self-driving cars.
In past B2B2X projects, generally the telecommunications company played the role of SI and the verticals expert would assist. This is because the telecommunications company was in control of the communication resources. However, in the 5G era, network configurations have become more diversified. Communications is no longer the key element that influences the value of projects. Following this, experts in a field and system solution providers who possess key technologies for different industries gain a bigger say and more control than they had in the past. Through their collaboration with telecom companies, they will advance from the supporting role and assume the main role, creating more innovative service value for end users. This is the role Coretronic Corporation wishes to play in the future.
Coretronic Corporation CTO and AI Application Research Center Vice President Robert Hsueh
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