Intelligent Micro-Machines Swarm Out of Sci-Fi, Into GTCs

by Brian Caulfield

Robots that count cattle from the sky. Smart cameras that fly themselves. Plug-and-play, GPU-powered brains that turn drones into robots that are as home in your house as they are in the open skies. This isn’t science-fiction. It’s the robots on display at this year’s lineup of global GPU Technology Conferences.

From Europe to Asia, we put together a showcase of some of the most innovative, smart and breathtaking smart-machines on the planet.

Thanks to our Jetson embedded platform, the power of deep learning and the AI revolution kickstarted by GPUs, these devices are becoming as intelligent as they are compact.

Each GTC was packed with researchers, companies and startups talking about how they’re using deep learning and GPUs to push the boundaries of embedded technology.

A few highlights from GTC’s feast of embedded tech:

  • Aerialtronics demonstrated one of the first commercial drones, Altura Zenith, which uses AI technology to visually inspect buildings, cell towers, wind turbines and more. All real-time processing is done onboard the drone.
  • is computer vision software for precision agriculture and inspection, enabling drones to count cattle, crops and more. Customers can get a bird’s eye view of all their assets through aerial imagery.
  • Enroute offers a scalable platform for autonomous drones and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) that uses deep learning for search and rescue, infrastructure maintenance and land surveys.
  • Hexo+ is an intelligent drone that can capture footage autonomously, making aerial filming possible in the most remote locations. This self-flying camera follows and films people from takeoff until landing.
  • Eyra created a wearable device, called Horus, which uses computer vision and machine learning to bring more independence to the lives of visually impaired people. Now they can read a product label or a book, recognize a friend on the street and get help navigating street crossings and obstacles.
  • IIT and R1, also known as “your personal Humanoids,” are robots that will help people in their daily tasks in homes and offices once they hit the market. Expect them to cost about the price of a new TV.
  • Neurala has deep learning software, Brains for Bots, that runs in real time on a drone. With Neurala software, a drone can learn objects, scenes, people or obstacles. It can also recognize them when viewed by the camera, locate them within the video stream and track them as they move.
  • Parrot showed its latest S.L.A.M. Dunk open development kit for the design of advanced applications for autonomous navigation, obstacle avoidance, indoor navigation and 3D mapping for drones and other robotic platforms in environments with multiple barriers and where GPS signals are not available.
  • Squadrone Systems demonstrated real-time data collection and data analytics for logistics, site exploration and surveillance. These autonomous flying drones can scan items in bins and recognize misplaced items.

These embedded machines may be small, but they’re poised to have a big impact. Stay tuned for more of these mini-marvels on display at next year’s GPU Technology Conference in Silicon Valley.