Numurus Goes Under the Hood Providing Developers with Plug and Play Access into AI and Automation Worlds
First coined as a phrase in 2011, Industry 4.0 is rapidly moving from concept to reality driven by dramatic advancements in AI, machine learning, advanced automation, robotics, and technologies for predictive maintenance and supply chain automation.
The transformation of traditional manufacturing operations into smart factories promises to help manufacturing businesses around the globe improve production, and enhance and improve quality assurance and safety, resulting in greater operational effectiveness, better cost control and greater competitiveness.
Virtually every company in the industrial community today is looking to incorporate AI and automation into their operation. But with technologies and software evolving at a breakneck speed, few businesses are equipped with the know-how to effectively implement these new technologies. They have limited time, limited expertise and limited money to make this transformation.
Numurus helps companies execute this transition by reducing the cost, time, and risks associated with bringing robotic, smart sensing and Edge-AI applications to market. The company’s patent-pending flagship product NEPI is a software engine for AI and automation solutions.
“The analogy we like to point to comes from the PC chip market,” says Jason Seawall, Numurus CEO, Jason Seawall. “When PCs first hit the street, they shipped with very basic operating environments like DOS, creating a heavy lift for developers and limiting the PC market to a small group of users. Then came Windows, which added user interfaces, peripheral hardware drivers (i.e. mice, keyboards, printers), and a set of productivity applications (i.e word processing, spreadsheets, web browser) that together transformed the PC market into what it is today. A similar situation is unfolding today as companies race to develop and bring to market AI chips with each chip manufacturer delivering the most basic operating environment needed to bring up the chip.
“Our goal is to do the same thing, but in the new world of AI, AI chips and hardware. Under the hood, this ecosystem needs a full-feature set of tools, drivers, and applications tailored for both developers and users of robotic and edge-AI solutions. And that’s what NEPI Engine provides.”
NEPI’s software engine, which is free to all developers as an open-source initiative on GitHub, as pre-built file system images for edge-compute hardware and as pre-flashed products from industrial-edge compute hardware partners, allows developers with little knowledge of the AI or automation world to rapidly add AI and automation to any project. Access to NEPI’s library of plug-and-play sensor drivers, robotic backseat drivers, drag-and-drop AI and automation management applications, native Robot Operating System (ROS) support, data management solutions, built-in local and remote browser-based interfaces, and beyond, means developers can focus on the end-customer solution and offload low-level drivers and middleware to our software engine. This can reduce new product development time from years to months.
“Developers can just plug in hardware within their domain and it just works,” says Jason. “They don’t need to worry about how to integrate or communicate with that hardware.”
Numurus also partners with several leading GPU and AI processor providers to offer its line of S2X smart system platforms, each pre-installed with Numurus’ NEPI Engine software toolkit. This gives developers working in those environments a rapid turnkey solution for adding AI and automation to any robotic or edge-AI project. S2X systems come preloaded with a library of sensor, pan and tilt, robotic, and communications drivers, in addition to onboard data, AI, automation, and IoT management applications, local command and control through a well-documented Robotic Operating System (ROS) interface, and a web-browser supported Resident User Interface (RUI).
The NEPI Developer license allows a user to access our software for in-house development at no cost. A full NEPI Commercial license is also available for companies with production-ready software ready for sale.
“Our ultimate goal is to be the leading software platform for the new emerging market of AI chipware,” says Jason. “From Nvidia, to Qualcomm, to Hailo, there are more AI chip manufacturers coming to market at pace. It’s a segment that is rapidly expanding. We fit well into this ecosystem. We don’t compete with any of these companies. We abstract from the particular hardware so that the solution built is more portable. We’re filling an important gap.
With $2M in capital investment, two patents pending, and an attractive pricing and go-to-market model for customers, Numurus is set to capitalize on the AI technology explosion.
The company’s long-standing partnership with 5G Open Innovation Lab (Numurus was in the Lab’s initial Batch One cohort) has been crucial in helping it formulate its go-to market strategy.
“Jim Brisimitzis and 5G OIL have been great friends and terrific mentors, from the earliest days when we were still developing our product and our company,” says Jason. “They were instrumental in helping us forge powerful alliances. For instance, we heard that Qualcomm was bringing its new RB5 AI chip to market. We reached out to Jim and he was instrumental in helping us make that connection, and now we’re in deep conversation with Qualcomm. It’s going great.”
Posted September 06, 2023