Cognitive Pilot has opened a robotic factory in Tomsk for assembling medium and small series of unique intelligent systems for unmanned trains and artificial intelligence harvesters.
The enterprise will produce control systems for harvesters in batches of several thousand pieces and mainly for export, the company’s CEO Olga Uskova told TASS.
At the end of August 2019, an Acros 585 harvester equipped with an unmanned driving system successfully completed an experiment in harvesting grain in the vicinity of the village of Karbyshevo, Tomsk Region. This is the first unmanned harvester in the world that does not require satellite communications to operate – it is equipped with the Cognitive AgroPilot system, which analyzes what is happening around the equipment and avoids collisions with foreign objects, equipment, people and animals. In June 2020, the Governor of the Tomsk Region announced that the company will open the production of smart blocks for this system in Tomsk.
“Our production in Tomsk has begun its work. For us, the launch in Tomsk is a very big event. A very fast start, and the load goes on all fronts at once, this is due to the emerging demand and market specifics – it is still empty,” Uskova said.
She noted that in the end the choice fell on the Siberian city, which, according to the company, will best cope with the production of artificial intelligence systems for unmanned vehicles, thanks to a strong university base and training schools. According to Uskova, the total investment in the production block is about $ 5 million. The regional authorities helped with the selection of the site for the location of the factory and with the paperwork.
“Tomsk Region is one of the five most innovatively developed regions of Russia. Our strong point is, firstly, close cooperation of universities, academic institutions and high-tech industries, and secondly, the rate of innovative business is not on supply, but on demand. Interaction with Cognitive Technologies for the development, production and export of technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, big data and others is a vivid confirmation of this, “the regional administration’s press service told TASS, citing regional governor Sergei Zhvachkin.
What will be produced and where will it be supplied?
As the interlocutor of the agency clarified, one of the main activities of the Tomsk subdivision of Cognitive Pilot is the organization of mass export of domestic solutions for unmanned vehicles in medium and small batches – “several thousand pieces.”
“First of all, the Tomsk plant will produce the already tested and demanded Cognitive AgroPilot complexes. This is a system of autonomous control of agricultural machinery (combine harvester, tractor, sprayer) based on artificial intelligence technologies, which allows the operator to entrust the control of the machinery to a robot assistant, while concentrating on Automatic processing by an unmanned harvester allows to reduce crop losses by 30-35%, and the total amount of savings for Russian farmers due to the use of the system will exceed 500 million rubles in 2020, “said the CEO of the company.
Also, the Tomsk enterprise will collect batches of Cognitive Imaging Radar devices for export. This is the world’s first industrial prototype of a 4D radar for autonomous ground transportation systems. The device is capable, in any weather, not only to determine the coordinates and speed of objects on the road scene, but also their shape, as a video camera does. So far, there are no analogues to this in the unmanned agricultural machinery market.
In addition to these complexes, in the near future it is planned to launch the production of such systems with artificial intelligence for the Cognitive Rail Pilot trains, which can assess the situation on the railway, issue warning signals to the driver, and in the absence of his response, make the necessary decisions to avoid an emergency …
As Uskova explained, the market for unmanned technologies is still emerging, and Russian developers need to have time to take a place on it. At the same time, the demand for these technologies is already huge both in the Russian Federation and abroad. “Now we have a queue to buy our harvesters with the AgroPilot system. And this is flattering, but keeping customers waiting is very bad. This year we have already brought 200 harvesters to the fields in Russia, and by the end of the next their number should increase 5 times – to thousands, up to two thousand by the end of 2022 and up to 4.5 thousand – by the end of 2023. And that’s not counting export plans, “the agency’s interlocutor said.
About Cognitive Pilot
In November 2019, Sberbank and Cognitive Technologies announced the conclusion of a legally binding agreement to establish Cognitive Pilot, a company specializing in the development of unmanned technologies in the fields of transport, agriculture, computer vision and artificial intelligence. Under the terms of the deal, Sberbank owns 30% of the company’s shares, 70% of the shares belong to the founders and management of Cognitive Technologies.