The hottest technology development trend in indust

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Technology development trend in the field of industrial automation

at present, under the trend of industry 4.0, many automation start-ups have emerged all over the world, but their technological innovation is often a niche product and is subject to similar problems such as the disguised "kidnapping" of system integrators; At the same time, investors who want to bet on the "automation" track are also confused about how to accurately judge the automation start-up projects

for this reason, titanium media in Silicon Valley interviewed Shen Han, the investor of oculus and the partner of American first-line fund formation 8, and asked him to deeply interpret the entrepreneurial trends, problems and solutions in the current industrial automation field for readers

"object grabbing" has become the bottleneck of industrial automation

at present, the world is about to usher in the era of industry 4.0, and industrial automation, as one of the main signs of mixing with soil and domestic waste, has become the hottest entrepreneurial direction. According to Shen Han, there are three types of innovation directions in the field of industrial automation worldwide

first, provide overall solutions for new manufacturing and logistics application scenarios, and add new technological improvements such as artificial intelligence and data analysis. This field mainly gathers many giants in the automation field, such as abb, KUKA, FANUC, Kiva (acquired by Amazon), etc. Shen Han said,

"but for European and American start-ups, 1 is the lack of motivation for scientific and technological innovation; 2 is the lack of determination to eliminate backward production capacity. In this field, there is a large demand for start-up capital, a long demonstration and sales cycle, and the core technical barriers are often limited, so it is easy to fall into the situation of competing for price and cost performance. For a large number of small and medium-sized enterprise customers, although the full set of automation solutions are attractive, they need large funds, so the purchasing power is also very limited."

secondly, visual recognition technology. Another necessary factor of industrial automation is to "put eyes on robots". In the past, robots in industrial automation scene only need to repeatedly process objects of preset size. However, with the development of manufacturing and logistics, the location, placement direction, type, shape and size of objects are becoming more and more diverse, which requires robots to have visual recognition ability. At present, there are also some challenges and opportunities in this direction, mainly reflected in whether it can provide customers with up to standard recognition accuracy and accuracy, as well as satisfactory cost performance

thirdly, object grabbing technology. In terms of object grabbing, the traditional method is to grab objects through vacuum suction cups or mechanical claws, such as using vacuum suction cups to adsorb car windshield, etc., but there are still a large number of objects that cannot be grabbed by traditional methods, such as cloth, fruit, flexible electronic devices, etc

"the cloth will be breathable and deformed when it meets the vacuum suction cup, while the flexible p3.2 specification CB is very easy to be damaged when it meets the vacuum suction cup and cannot be grabbed by traditional methods. At the same time, the existing object grasping technology has high requirements for visual recognition in order to achieve high accuracy, and we have not seen a visual recognition scheme with good cost performance." Shen Han confessed to titanium media

how to view industrial automation entrepreneurship projects

for investors who bet on the "automation" track, in addition to identifying the three main areas of innovation, another vexing problem is how to look at entrepreneurial projects in the field of industrial automation? In this regard, Shen Han, who successfully invested in Grabit, a rising star in the field of industrial automation in Silicon Valley, also gave his own suggestions

first, products must be standardized and universal. Many entrepreneurial projects in the field of automation originate from the scientific research achievements of the founders in the laboratory, but there is still a huge gap between laboratory technology and product commercialization. "At first glance, some application scenarios of automation technology are very wide, but the specific implementation needs to be changed here for customer a and there for customer B. If customized products are launched for each segment scenario indiscriminately, there may be a situation that customized versions can only sell sets a year, R & D needs to continue to burn money, and sales growth is bound to be slow. Therefore, the standardization and universality of products are very important for automation entrepreneurship projects Critical. " Shen Han said

second, the product has good compatibility and should be able to plug and play. In order to reduce the entry threshold and realize large-scale, a good automated product should be compatible with the production or logistics processes that customers have adopted to the greatest extent, so as to achieve "minimum disruption and destruction". Just think, if an enterprise has spent a lot of money on automated processes, it is difficult to start over for a new technology that makes effective improvements in a certain link

third, take control of your own destiny, rather than being blindly controlled by the system integrator. "At present, because many automation products can't achieve standardization and compatibility in a descending order under great pressure, they often need to rely on system integrators for sales, so they become part sellers in disguise. As a VC, I can't invest in such projects," Shen Han said, "An automated product that has achieved standardization, good compatibility, and plug and play should be able to get rid of the restrictions of system integrators, can be sold directly or through channels, and maintain a cooperative but independent state when cooperating with various industrial giants."

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