BARCELONA, Spain – Chinese startup CloudMinds Technology, a developer of cloud artificial intelligence and robotic solutions, today launched the XR-1 humanoid service robot at the Mobile World Congress event.
The “highly intelligent service-oriented humanoid robot” represents a new level of technology development and commercialization in the area of intelligent robotics, the company said. It’s powered by two new technologies – intelligent robot joints that CloudMind calls Smart Compliant Actuators (SCAs), and a cloud brain – Human Augmented Robotic Intelligence with Extreme Reality (HARIX), a cloud platform that “organically integrates AI capabilities such as vision processing, natural language processing, robotic motion control, vision-guided grasping and manipulation.” The company said that with these technologies, the XR-1 “provides a significant leap towards the realization of truly intelligent assistants for humans.”
By having its “brain” in the cloud, CloudMinds said the robot can utilize powerful AI engines, collective learning capabilities, and scalability, while still providing low cost and low battery consumption for the robot’s body.
Each SCA developed by CloudMinds has several dedicated embedded chips and multimodal sensors, which support intelligent control algorithms and communication functions for smooth, precise, and safe robotic motion. “This allows the robot to achieve human-like motion, or even better in some cases,” the company said. This design also supports several sizes to fit different robotic joints, with a balance between high performance and low cost. CloudMinds said it is ready to start mass production of the SCA for partners.
At the Mobile World Congress show, the XR-1 robot delivered beverages and coffee to guests with its flexible arms, built with compliant joints. CloudMinds said the compliant joint can detect resistance force and stop its actions until the resistance is gone. During interaction with guests, the XR-1 used a multimodal sensing subsystem to understand its surroundings and tasks, the company said. In addition, the robot’s 3D vision sensing system, combined with HARIX platform’s 3D object recognition and other advanced algorithms, provided closed-loop visual feedback, enabling it to “perform tasks accurately, smoothly, and safely in an environment in which machines and humans coexist,” CloudMinds said.
In another demonstration, the XR-1 was able to guide a thread through the small hole of a needle, repeatedly and effortlessly by controlling 14 SCAs collectively, “a very difficult precision level for compliant actuators to achieve,” the company said. Another demonstration had the XR-1 dancing to several songs, with dance routines learned from human dancers.
The XR-1 also includes a cloud-based natural language processing system, which can accurately understand human users’ intent and take actions accordingly, CloudMinds said. “It can also carry on meaningful and life-like conversations, even injecting humor at times.”
“Based on a set of advanced technologies, CloudMinds will develop a number of intelligent compliant service robots, from wheeled to two-legged,” said Bill Huang, CEO and founder of CloudMinds. “Leveraging the 5G network’s high bandwidth and low latency, our cloud AI platform will rapidly grow its intelligence as well as its deployment size. We will usher in a new era of service-oriented robotics.”
In February 2017, CloudMinds raised $100 million in a Series A round of funding, with investors that include SoftBank.