Posts on Apr 2016

Manufacturing Automation Leaders Collaborate: Optimizing Industrial Production through Analytics

TOKYO, — April 18, 2016 —FANUC CORPORATION, the world’s leading supplier of robotics and factory automation, is collaborating with Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT-enabled digitization, as well as Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information solutions, and Preferred Networks, a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence solutions. The companies will work together on the development and deployment of the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system, a platform that connects not only Computer Numerical Control machines (CNCs) and robots, but also peripheral devices and sensors – to deliver analytics that optimize manufacturing production.

The FIELD system will be a platform for the delivery of advanced analytics for FANUC CNCs, robots, peripheral devices, and sensors used in automation systems. It will drive improved machine reliability, quality, flexibility, and speed – elevating the Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) and increasing manufacturing profitability. It will also provide advanced machine learning and deep learning capabilities. By working with Cisco, Rockwell Automation, and Preferred Networks – FANUC will offer a complete solution including network and compute infrastructure, applications, and an enabling middleware platform. With this open platform, application developers, sensor and peripheral device makers, system integrators and others can build solutions that improve equipment efficiency, manufacturing output, and quality.

Extension of Current Successes
The FIELD system extends the success of the existing FANUC ZDT (Zero Downtime) connected robots project; ZDT is built with Cisco cloud, IOT data collection software, and end to end security capabilities. The companies are working together to implement systems for major automotive manufacturers by leveraging the Allen-Bradley Stratix Ethernet switches from Rockwell Automation to connect robots to a Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) – all of this running on FANUC and Cisco’s ZDT Data Collection software. Automotive customers who have implemented this system are quickly realizing a significant decrease in production downtime as well as increased cost savings.

Intelligent Manufacturing
The FIELD system will bring the power of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence into the hands of customers and application developers — driving manufacturing to a new level of productivity and efficiency. FANUC and Preferred Networks have established these new technologies for applications such as Bin Picking robots, anomaly detection, and failure prediction. The FIELD system combines both artificial intelligence and edge-computing technologies – enabling distributed learning. Data is generated from robots and machines and is processed in real time at the edge of the network. This allows those devices to intelligently coordinate and collaborate in a flexible manner – resulting in sophisticated manufacturing practices not before possible.

 

Who provides What for the FIELD System?

FANUC: Provides CNCs and robots with embedded sensors to track key variables required to improve machine reliability, quality, and speed.

FANUC, Cisco and Preferred Networks: Provides enabling middleware Platform Software, as well as security and application lifecycle management applications. It will also leverage Preferred Networks’ open deep learning framework (Chainer), IoT Stream Engine (SensorBee) – and other advanced machine learning libraries within its Deep Intelligence in-Motion (DIMo) platform.

Cisco and Rockwell Automation: Provides networking, compute and security infrastructure to connect the robots, CNCs, and other cell equipment to the FIELD applications. Based on the Rockwell Automation and Cisco collaboratively developed Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) architecture – this further drives improved security, connectivity, flexibility, and scalability – all of which allows connection from a single, small cell to large factory with hundreds of cells.

FANUC, Rockwell Automation and Preferred Networks: Delivers the initial Application Software on top of the FIELD middleware and infrastructure platform. This will extend the LINK-i and ZDT applications currently deployed, along with additional deep learning applications from the FANUC and Preferred Networks partnership. It is planned that Rockwell Automation manufacturing software products (including FactoryTalk View, FactoryTalk VantagePoint, and FactoryTalk Production Center) will seamlessly integrate with the FIELD system to speed deployment.

 

LEADERSHIP QUOTES

Sujeet Chand, Senior VP and CTO, Rockwell Automation
“By collaborating with world class companies, Rockwell Automation helps maximize manufacturers’ investments by leveraging the data from their intelligent devices they are using today to drive an enterprise-wide analytics strategy. With a secure scalable compute approach to analyze this data – from device to the enterprise – users can improve operations and make more informed decisions tailored to meet the needs of their organizations.”

Rowan Trollope, SVP IoT and Applications, Cisco
This collaboration represents a historic shift in the industry, with IoT, industrial automation and machine learning coming together to make the factory of the future a reality. It’s been talked about for years, but now it is really happening. Cisco couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this effort, one that will be key to our positioning in other industries that want to realize the benefits of digitization.”

Toru Nishikawa, CEO, Preferred Networks
“PFN is excited that this collaboration will further accelerate the advancement of the manufacturing industry. Since the start of our work with FANUC, leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence has been aimed not only at making machines and robots smarter, but also towards a continuous improvement of manufacturing productivity through intelligent real-time coordination and collaboration between robots and machines. We are confident that FIELD will play a central role in making that vision a reality.

  

About FANUC CORPORATION
FANUC CORPORATION, headquartered at the foot of Mt. Fuji, Japan, is the global leader and the most innovative manufacturer of Factory Automation, Robots and ROBOMACHINE’s in the world. With 252 offices in 46 countries, FANUC provides world-class service and support to customers globally. Since its inception in 1972, FANUC has contributed to the automation of machine tools as a pioneer in the development of computer numerical control equipment. FANUC technology has been a leading force in a worldwide manufacturing revolution, which evolved from the automation of a single machine to the automation of entire production lines. For more information visit: http://www.fanuc.co.jp/eindex.htm.

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected.
For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.

About Preferred Networks
Preferred Networks Inc. (PFN) is a Tokyo-based startup focusing on applications of latest artificial intelligence technologies to emerging problems in the Internet of Things (IoT). PFN’s vision is the realization of Deep Intelligence – a future IoT in which all devices, as well as the network itself, are intelligent. PFN develops software related to deep learning and IoT, and provides Deep Intelligence in-Motion solutions. PFN collaborates with many world-leading companies in industries, such as FANUC for intelligent robots and Toyota motors for autonomous driving. For more information please visit: www.preferred-networks.jp/en

PFN & PFI Summer Internship Program

As goes the tradition, Preferred Infrastructure (PFI) and Preferred Networks (PFN) will be organizing the joint internship program this summer too. We are looking forward to receiving students who want to join us in creating new technologies and services. Students who previously applied are also welcome to try again this year.

Application Guideline
Qualification requirements and emplyment conditions are same as PFN and PFI, except that you must be as fluent in Japanese as natives if you want to work on PFI’s themes. To which company candidates will be assigned depends on the themes they will work on.

Period
August 1st 2016 – September 30th 2016
(The period of the internship can be flexibly arranged.)

Time & Place
8 hours/day, 5 days/week (excluding holidays)
Otemachi-Bldg. 2F 1-6-1, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo, 100-1004

Salary
High school: 1200Yen/hour
Technical college/Undergraduate/Graduate: 1500Yen/hour
Transportation expenses (up to 10000Yen/month) are also covered.

Why join the PFN internship program?
・You will be collabolating and be mentored by experts in various fields including information retrieval, natural language processing, deep learning, algorithms, distributed processing, computer vision, etc.
・You will experience every aspect of a startup company. It is valuable to those who want to work in or to be a founder of startups.
・You can make public the results of your work during the internship program, as OSS or paper, etc. (Some restrictions might apply)

Qualification requirements:
We are looking for highly motivated people who have Software development capabilities. Expertise in the fields mentioned above, or prior development experience are taken into consideration, but are not a must. Application requirements are as follows:
・Currently a students 18 of age or older (High school, technical college, college, graduate students, others could also be discussed.)
・Have programming skills (regardless of the programming language)
・Able to work fulltime on weekdays at our Tokyo office
・If you want to work on PFI’s themes, you must be as fluent in Japanese as natives (fluency in English and Chinese are welcome).
# We will prepare accommodation for those who live far from Tokyo.
# Women and Non-Japanese speakers are also very welcome
# You can still apply even if you are not a fully-fledged application developer

How to apply:
Please send the application documents below to intern-apply@preferred.jp
Questions about the internship program are also accepted by this address.

Application documents:
・Resume (Name, address, contact information, background)
・Proof of skills; explain your strengths and expertise fields, etc. (one A4 page)
Ex: List of papers, received awards, developed/used Software&Services, programming contests participation history, personal website/blog, twitter account, etc.
・Motivation letter (Please include your interest field/theme and your expectations from the internship.)
# This is a very important for both the admission procces, and the internship theme selection, so please describe in as much detail as possible.

Application Deadline
May. 8th, 2016 (sun.) 23:59 (JST)

Selection process:
Selection process:
1. Application documents screening: Starts on May 8th. Results are announced to applicants via email in a week.
2. Pre-interview task: Applicants who passed receive a task via email.
3. Interviews: First interview starts in June (Skype is used in case of remote applicants)
4. Final results: Result of the selection processes is announced to applicants in the beginning of July.

Themes
@PFI
1.Technology field: Natural Language Processing for Japanse documents
・Automatic document classification
・Named entity recognition
・Synonym Extraction
・Automatic summarization
・Similarity search

2. Technology field: Speech Recognition for Japanese speech
・Speech recognition by deep learning.
・Document recognition by deep learning.
・Speaker identification
・Noise filtering

@PFN

Application fields
・Image recognition
・Anomaly detection
・Robotics (bipedal walking, car control)
・Genomics, Epi-genomics, proteomoics
・Art generation (Generation of images, videos, sounds etc.)
・Application of deep learning to embedded system
Stream processing for IoT

Research fields
・Machine learning with limited labels (One-shot, Weakly superivsed, Semi-supervised Learning)
・Distributed algorithm, Distributed deep learning
・Deep generative model
・Machine learning using simulators

Change of Address

This is to inform you that we will be moved to the below address as of April 25, 2016.

[New location]
Otemachi-Bldg.2F
1-6-1, Otemachi
Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo, 100-1004

From April 25th, we will do normal operation.
Thank you for your understanding and support.

FEB18 Shohei Hido Speaks at JAPAN-UK Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Seminar @ London

Shohei Hido, Chief Research Officer of Preferred Networks, participated in a Japan-UK Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Seminar 2016 that was held on February 18th in London. The event was co-organized by the British Embassy in Tokyo and the Japan Embassy in London in order to discuss and enhance the collaboration between the research communites and govermental agencies in Japan and the United Kingdom.

From Japan, a number of distinguished researchers including Prof. Ishiguro from Osaka University attended the seminar. Hido presented the combination of artificial intelligence technologies with applications in automotive and industrial robotics, and showed a demo as an example of new business innovations in the “Socio-economic Impact” session. After the presentation, he was contacted by the audience including British agencies and local consulting firms for future cooperations.

During the stay in London, the Japan group officially visited the newly-established Alan Turing Institute and several start-up companies. Hido also gave a one-hour talk as a public seminar at Imperial College of London and made connections with attendees including faculty members.

Preferred Networks will continue to increase presense not only in the UK but also world-wide for business collaborations and recruitment activities.