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Neocortex Software Enables Robots to Learn, Adapt and React

Universal Robotics has released Neocortex an innovative and patented software that offers learning ability for the machines from its surroundings thereby providing an adaptable automation in disfigured environments. This significant technology was unveiled at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' (CSCMP) Annual Global Conference, which was held in San Diego, California.

David Peters, CEO of Universal Robotics has stated that by enabling the robots to learn and accomplish tasks in an ever-varying environment, they can be employed in industries to carry out innovative procedures.

Neocortex has been under research since 2001. It was initially created at Vanderbilt University with subsidy from NASA and DARPA. Neocortex was further developed by means of Robonaut which is NASA's humanoid robot. In contrast to the conventional automation which demands the robot to perform pre-coded actions and missions, Neocortex provides learning skills to the robot regarding  the execution of the task. Once the learning of the task gets completed, the robot examines its surroundings with the help of more than 50 channels of sensor information. Based on the interpretation of its previous experience, the machine alters its proceedings instantaneously in order to execute the task.

The learning skill has facilitated the Neocortex enabled robots to acclimatize and respond to unknown variables of the environment, thereby offering flexible automation and overcoming a major challenge faced by  artificial intelligence and machine automation. This can profoundly enhance the efficiency and safety of automation and can be used for performing high-risk tasks which are dangerous or unfeasible for people and standard industrial robots.

Neocortex will be primarily released as an automated mixed-size box handler in the materials dealing industry. It was reported that on collaboration with Yaskawa / Motoman Robotics, the company will develop a hardware/machine intelligence work- cell solution that embraces various features including Neocortex software, custom box moving end effectors, a suite of sensors, Motoman's SDA-series robots and Universal’s latest user-friendly 3D vision system called Spatial Vision.

The various automated tough tasks performed by the Neocortex box mover include floor-stacked truck off-loading, palletization and depalletization. The robot automatically locates the object to be moved and examines its position, structure and direction for identifying the best method for its relocation. The machines can automatically classify the boxes for effective pallet unloading and other difficult operations. The existing work cells can also include this technology and minimal alteration has to be made in warehouse and delivery centers.



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