ABB Robotics launches 2024 Robotics AI Startup Challenge

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ABB Robotics.

ABB’s Robotics AI Startup Challenge gives the company an opportunity to collaborate with disruptive startups. | Source: ABB Robotics

ABB Robotics yesterday announced the launch of a global competition to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence systems in robotics. The 2024 Robotics AI Startup Challenge invites participants to submit ideas and systems in three areas: natural language programming, skill learning, and autonomous decision-making.

The Zurich-based company said its latest challenge is intended to foster innovation and collaboration between it and pioneering startups worldwide.

“Innovation has been at the heart of ABB since the foundation of our robotics business 50 years ago, and we recognize the immense potential of startups and scaleups in driving technological advancement,” stated Marc Segura, president of ABB Robotics. “The ABB Robotics AI Startup Challenge is an opportunity for us to partner with the most creative and forward-thinking minds in the field, as we work together to shape the future of robotics and automation.”

A previous ABB challenge resulted its acquisition of Sevensense in January. The Swiss startup had developed AI-enabled 3D vision navigation technology for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). ABB said it plans to fully integrate Sevensense’s technology into its AMR portfolio, which is based on its purchase of ASTI Mobile Robotics in 2021. 

By harnessing the power of AI, ABB said it is designing the next generation of robots to be more intuitive, adaptable, easy to use, and efficient. This will allow the company to transform industries to make end-users more resilient and work more rewarding for employees. 

ABB opens Robotics AI Startup Challenge to applicants

Participants in the 2024 Robotics AI Startup Challenge will have opportunities to collaborate closely with ABB’s engineers, access cutting-edge robotics technologies, and tap into the company’s global network of customers and partners. The winning team will earn a cash prize of $30,000 and a chance to establish a long-term partnership with ABB to explore joint go-to-market strategies and investment opportunities. 

Through the challenge, and by incorporating generative AI and other disruptive technologies in robotics, ABB said it hopes to allow robots to be programmed through natural language, learn new skills efficiently, and make autonomous decisions in real-world scenarios. 

The challenge is now open for applications. Startups with expertise in AI and robotics are encouraged to submit their proposals by June 12, 2024. For more information, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, more information is available on the challenge’s website

ABB noted that the competition is part of its wider Innovation Ecosystem, which is “driven by collaboration and the transformative potential of emerging technologies.” The company said it has created initiatives to to identify, support, and scale up promising startups across all industries.

Such collaborations with innovative businesses will help bring new systems to market, said ABB, whose goal is to “create a more sustainable and productive future.” ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation has more than 11,000 employees in about 53 countries. It won a 2024 RBR Robotics Innovation Award for its modular industrial robot arms.

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