Yaskawa MOTOMAN NEXT robots run on Wind River Linux, NVIDIA Jetson

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Yaskawa's MOTOMAN NEXT series. | Source: Yaskawa.

The MOTOMAN NEXT series, which is powered by NVIDIA Jetson Orin and Wind River Linux. | Source: Yaskawa Electric

Wind River Systems Inc. this week announced that Yaskawa Electric Corp. is using Wind River Linux in the development of its new product MOTOMAN NEXT. The company said its software will enable Yaskawa’s industrial robots to autonomously adapt to their environment and make judgments with advanced artificial intelligence. 

MOTOMAN NEXT is powered by NVIDIA Jetson Orin and Wind River Linux. Yaskawa claimed that these systems will help the robot “realize new levels of intelligence and autonomy.”

Founded in 1915, Yaskawa Electric said it has transformed from a motor manufacturer and an automation company to a mechatronics company. The Katakyushu, Japan-based business provides servo motors, controllers, AC drives, and industrial robots.

AI opens new possibilities, says Wind River

“AI is opening exciting new pathways,” stated Amit Ronen, chief customer officer at Wind River. “We are pleased to support the next generation of AI-capable robotics from an industry leader such as Yaskawa in combination with Wind River Linux and NVIDIA Jetson.”

“Together with Yaskawa and NVIDIA, we can help teams rapidly innovate in machine learning and AI to deliver more intelligent systems,” he added.

Wind River Linux helps teams develop, deploy, and operate robust, reliable, and secure embedded systems running on a purpose-built Linux operating system, according to Wind River. The Alameda, Ca.-based company said it offers high stability and security to meet high-performance needs for mission-critical applications.

Yaskawa MOTOMAN NEXT gains perception, judgement 

Wind River and Yaskawa Electric said that MOTOMAN NEXT can handle challenging tasks in unstructured environments. This allows it to drive automation into new application areas that were previously challenging because of the need for human-level perception and judgment capabilities. 

MOTOMAN NEXT can execute tasks based on its understanding of changes in its surrounding environment and the system’s status, claimed the companies. This includes accounting for other robots and peripheral devices.

The robot can perform complex tasks, like navigating an optimal path to avoid obstacles or sorting and boxing items of varying color and shape. Yaskawa and Wind River said the robot can also handle tasks with many variables and uncertain elements. 

MOTOMAN NEXT’s autonomous control unit uses Wind River Linux and runs on NVIDIA Jetson Orin, a platform for edge AI, embedded intelligence, and robotics applications. 

NVIDIA said Jetson provides scalable software, a modern AI stack, production-ready ROS packages, and application-specific AI workflows. The company added that it can share AI software and cloud-native workflows while delivering the power-efficiency required for building software-defined autonomous machines and edge AI systems.

The companies added that the combination of Wind River Linux and the NVIDIA Jetson platform enables advanced AI edge applications. 

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