Congatec and the Japanese AI experts at Hacarus today unveiled the world’s first embedded computing kit for Artificial Intelligence (AI) that uses Sparse Modeling technology. Sparse Modeling needs little training data to make highly accurate predictions. This is an advantage for vision-based inspection systems, among others, because the reject rate is naturally lower when manufacturing quality is high. With Sparse Modeling it is possible to create a new inspection model starting with 50 or even fewer images. This is significantly less than the 1,000 or more images required for traditional AI. The Sparse Modeling Kit, available from Hacarus, can be used stand-alone or as an add-on to existing inspection systems. Primary customers are vision system providers and system integrators. Another group of users includes machine and system builders who want to use vision-based AI in their devices but have been reluctant to do so up to now, because the wide variety of individual customer installations requires algorithms to be adapted, which was previously too costly.
Essentially, Sparse Modeling is a data modeling approach that focuses on identifying unique characteristics. Simply put, Sparse Modeling interprets data similar to the human brain, instead of analyzing every single hair and every millimeter of a person.
The new starter kit based on congatec hardware and Hacarus software can instantly be deployed and tested in any GigE and USB 3.x environment. Designed on the basis of palm-sized Computer-on-Modules, the system measures only 173 x 88 x 21.7 mm (6.81 x 3.46 x 0.85 in). It is not only slim but also offers extraordinary performance thanks to the latest Intel Atom® and Celeron® processors (Codename Apollo Lake) that are all available for series production today. Despite its small size, the system has a rich set of I/Os, enabling many different end-user setups. Standard interfaces are 2 x GbE application ready for GigE Vison, 1 x USB3.0/2.0, 4 x USB2.0 and 1 x UART (RS-232). Extensions are possible with 2 x Mini-PCIe with USIM socket, 1 x mSATA socket and 16-bit programmable GPIO. The wide range DC voltage input is 9V-32V.