AI Leads to Game Changing Innovation

Feb. 21, 2024
Used carefully, AI is a key factor in next level innovation

AI is everywhere, and rightly so—it has elevated pretty much everything, including machine vision, to exciting new levels of possibility and achievement.

AI can and is greatly augmenting, if not completely changing, machine vision. For example, startup company Outrider’s (Brighton, CO, USA) has developed an automated process for moving and tracking cargo trailers in distribution yards. This powerful combination of AI and machine vision improves efficiency, organization, and safety in a confusing, chaotic, dangerous atmosphere, while at the same time taking a big step to improve environmental sustainability.

Specifically, Outrider developed all-electric autonomous yard trucks equipped with a variety of vision sensors to self-navigate through a crowded freight yard, and robotic arms to hitch and unhitch trailers and move them around the yard. The system not only makes it far easier to keep track of incoming and outgoing semi-trucks and cargo, but eliminates dull, dangerous, monotonous tasks traditionally performed by human employees. At the same time, it replaces the 24/7/365 operations of carbon-spewing diesel vehicles with zero carbon emission electric vehicles.

Eagle Vizion’s (Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada) AI-assisted vision system, the Flake Analyzer, is another example of how adding AI to an already existing, efficiently functioning vision system can actually make it even better. In this case, the Flake Analyzer checks the composition of many types of shredded plastics for recycling far quicker and more accurately than human inspectors. The system had been deployed and in use since 2015; the company added the AI component to it in 2022, with the result of a much faster and even more accurate inspection and sorting process.

These are two of many examples of AI enhanced machine vision innovation underway, every day, in so many different areas, from wildlife conservation to medical research. For machine vision, AI is a key that, if used carefully, can unlock so many exciting—even potentially planet-saving—opportunities.

About the Author

Jim Tatum | Senior Editor

VSD Senior Editor Jim Tatum has more than 25 years experience in print and digital journalism, covering business/industry/economic development issues, regional and local government/regulatory issues, and more. In 2019, he transitioned from newspapers to business media full time, joining VSD in 2023.

Voice Your Opinion

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vision Systems Design, create an account today!