KYOTO, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OMRON Corporation (HQ: Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto. CEO: Yoshihito Yamada) held a Guinness World Record certification ceremony for the Omron table tennis robot FORPHEUS, certified as the first robot table tennis tutor by Guinness World Records, at CEATEC JAPAN 2016 (hosted by the CEATEC JAPAN Organizing Committee, and held at Makuhari Messe) on October 3, 2016.
Omron exhibited at CEATEC JAPAN 2016, at Makuhari Messe, October 4—7, 2016, under the theme of "Sensing & Control +Think.” Through demonstrations of the table tennis robot FORPHEUS, employing state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI), Omron introduced guests to “a future in which humans and machines grow together” achieved through Omron’s pursuit of “+Think.” Omron introduced its latest technologies in manufacturing, healthcare and mobility to help solve pressing social issues.
Table tennis robot FORPHEUS certified, delivering
Takumi Nippon technology to the world
On this occasion, the Guinness World Records®*, in recognition of innovative technological prowess, certified the table tennis robot FORPHEUS as “the first robot table tennis tutor." During the certification ceremony, Guinness World Records Japan Co., Ltd.’s Takumi Nippon Project Leader, Vihag Kulshrestha, appeared as a presenter for Guinness World Records to certify FORPHEUS, and delivered the statement below: *Guinness World Records® is a registered trademark of Guinness World Records Limited.
"Guinness World Records launched the Takumi Nippon Project in 2014 for the purpose of delivering Japan's wonderful technology, as well as the commitment to manufacturing excellence on behalf of the Japanese craftsmen, researchers and engineers that supports that technology, to the world. Today, FORPHEUS is being recognized as the new shape of Takumi Nippon.”
FORPHEUS, a robot that can track player position and ball movement at a rate of 80 times per second, allowing it to plot the ball’s exact landing point to return it, is a shining example of the "Takumi" of Omron technology. We are very pleased to deliver such a wonderful feat of Japanese craftsmanship to people all around the world."
Also, in response to receiving the award, Omron Managing Executive Officer, CTO and Senior General Manager, Technology & Intellectual Property HQ., Kiichiro Miyata, gave the following statement:
"On this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude for the prestigious Guinness World Record award. FORPHEUS was developed based on our core "Sensing & Control +Think" technology. By adding "human knowledge" to machines we can advance human and machine relationships. Through FORPHEUS we believe we can evolve from "machines that ‘collaborate’ with humans for human purposes" to “machines that ‘harmonize’ with humans to support human decisions and promote human creativity,” communicating to the world Omron’s goal to evolve "the human and machine relationship."
Table tennis robot FORPHEUS is an easy-to-understand, hands-on demonstration of Omron technology. Exhibited for the first time at the Omron Total Fair exhibition in China in 2013, Omron's 80th anniversary, FORPHEUS was first announced in Japan at CEATEC JAPAN 2014. By adding sequential deep learning AI technology to the 2016 model, FORPHEUS can now determine a player’s level during a rally and control the robot hand to match the player’s characteristics for more realistic play. Specifically, FORPHEUS instantly determines a player’s competitive level from Advanced/Intermediate/Novice during a rally based on their play. To promote player growth, FORPHEUS can also adjust throw-in speed and position to match player level with ±5 cm accuracy.
Omron aims for a future of IoT with +Think
Kiichiro Miyata gave further information regarding Omron’s technology strategy in a briefing held after the Guinness World Record certification ceremony, and also announced the launch of the indoor Mobile Robot LD Platform, a new product designed to address issues faced in the field of manufacturing.
By combining human knowledge with data gathered using sensing data-based AI technology through the “Sensing & Control +Think” concept, Omron aims to create a harmonious relationship where machines harmonize with humans to support human decisions and promote human creativity. In doing so, Omron’s goal is to address problems such as issues in industry caused by the decline in working population, health issues including the increasing number of patients with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and issues related to the mobile society such the increasing frequency of accidents due to the growing number of elderly drivers. As an answer to these challenges, Miyata introduced solutions built around the “Sensing & Control +Think” concept, including sensing and AI-based technology capable of optimizing productivity in manufacturing, health management technology capable of monitoring blood pressure around the clock with each of the 100,000 daily heart beats, and automatic driving technology capable of monitoring the driver’s condition and identifying dangers in advance.
He further introduced the outline of the Sensing Data Trading Market (SDTM), Omron’s business strategy for the IoT age that allows new innovation to be created by connecting sensing data that has so far been isolated in separate platforms across organizations while also ensuring privacy. This has set out a vision of furthering open innovation by allowing application and service developers to freely and seamlessly utilize various forms of sensing data.
“In the coming years, we will accelerate our business building and technology development together with business partners who share and agree with our view of the future in various fields. We are aiming for open innovation based on backcasting,” Miyata said.
Announcing a new product heralding the future
reality of manufacturing
The next announcement was the Mobile Robot LD Platform, a new indoor transportation robot designed to realize the “Sensing & Control +Think” strategy in manufacturing.
The Mobile Robot LD is a carrier robot equipped with proprietary AI technology, which allows it to transport materials to a target location while calculating the optimal route and avoiding humans and obstacles. The robots are ideally suited for a wide range of indoor environments, including facilities manufacturing car parts, electronics, foods and pharmaceuticals, as well as warehouses and research facilities. While earlier automatically moving robots generally functioned by reading markers such as lines on the floor, the Mobile Robot LD utilizes a built-in laser scanner to detect its environment, and automatically maps space available for movement. The robot compares the map and the laser scanner input to determine its position, and plots a route for transporting up to 130 kg of cargo while steering clear of obstacles and humans.
The product was introduced by Eiji Ikeno, Deputy General Manager of Omron Industrial Automation’s Robotics Advancement Project. Having described transformative changes taking place in the manufacturing industry, including the sophistication of manufacturing, establishment of global manufacturing, personnel shortages and the resulting need for increased automation, he introduced a vision for the future of manufacturing where “humans and machines co-exist and work together.” Ikeno demonstrated a future vision where “ultra-productivity” with sensing and assistive robotics, and freely customizable, “ultra-flexible” production lines consisting of mobile robots combined with traditional machines, have revolutionized manufacturing.
Addressing social issues: Omron +Think
A number of cutting-edge technologies built around the core concept of “Sensing & Control +Think” that are being developed to address social issues were introduced at the Omron booth, in addition to the table tennis robot FORPHEUS.
- Demonstration of the World’s First Cutting-Edge AI In-Vehicle Sensor
A demonstration was held in the mobility area, offering guests a chance to experience OMRON’s driver concentration-sensing technology that brings us closer to a safer and collision-free society powered by automated driving. This technology uses a single compact, palm-sized camera and processes two kinds of images, localized facial images and comprehensive motion images, to detect what the driver is doing, including dozing off, not looking at the road, using a smartphone, and reading. During manual driving the driver's motions and condition are categorized in real time as "hazard levels" based on how safely the driver is capable of driving, and during automated driving on highways these factors are categorized in real time as "driving handover levels" based on how much time would be needed for the driver to resume driving.
- Continuous monitoring of blood pressure via the wrist
In the healthcare area, Omron exhibited a prototype blood pressure monitor equipped with new sensing technology capable of continuous heartbeat-by-heartbeat monitoring. To combat cardio- and cerebrovascular disorders, it is necessary to address the global surge in high blood pressure that is seen as an underlying cause. With this goal in mind, OMRON identified the need for more precise measurement of blood pressure and harnessed its strength in semiconductor- and precision engineering-based sensing technology, along with OMRON Healthcare’s extensive experience and knowhow regarding the monitoring of blood pressure, to develop technology that uses the tonometry method to perform heartbeat-by-heartbeat measurement of blood pressure using only a simple device strapped to a subject’s wrist. OMRON’s booth at CEATEC 2016 featured demonstrations of blood pressure testing and imaging using a prototype of this compact, high-performance device.
- Introducing future smart factories powered by the indoor Mobile Robot LD Platform
The manufacturing area exhibited the indoor Mobile Robot LD Platform developed as a step towards human-machine harmony in manufacturing. This was an opportunity to see the robot early before the scheduled launch in 33 countries on January 20, 2017.
The booth also introduced OMRON’s vision of “smart factories” and the evolution of +Think technology. The indoor Mobile Robot LD Platform will play an important role in the realization of a flexible manufacturing industry, where production lines can adjust automatically as the manufactured products change, as well as meeting expectations in the age of IoT and achieving the mass customization necessary for producing and supplying high quality products that match the needs and preferences of individual consumers at the desired time.
- Opening an Experimental Sensing Data Trading Market for the Age of IoT to the Public
The SDTM area introduced a brighter future made possible by new ways of creating value by sharing and effectively utilizing vast quantities of sensing data gathered from every corner of the world. The booth offered a demonstration of how users can use the SDTM to search and purchase sensing data from the giant database as a means of resolving challenges they face.