By ICN GroupChemical, March 25, 2020
Yokogawa acquires AI startup Grazper Technologies
Grazper has developed advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for analyzing images, and Yokogawa aims to leverage these technologies within its various existing businesses and to develop new industrial AI solutions
Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that on March 20, 2020, it completed the acquisition of all shares in Denmark-based Grazper Technologies ApS (Grazper), as mutually agreed. Grazper has developed advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for analyzing images, and Yokogawa aims to leverage these technologies within its various existing businesses and to develop new industrial AI solutions.
Recent advances in deep learning and related technologies have enabled the practical application of AI in industry, and it is expected that as image identification and data forecasting accuracy continue to improve, the use of AI will only expand further. In particular, by improving the recognition accuracy for moving imagery, it becomes possible to observe the overall environment and context of the whole image, opening up new applications in the security field and for image analysis and robot operations on production lines.
Grazper is a venture company founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2015, and later funded by Danish venture capital firm Promentum Equity Partners. It possesses advanced AI-based technologies for image analysis, and one notable strength is a solution that allows AI software to run efficiently on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA*), a type of integrated circuit. The software employs image recognition methodologies that have been theorized using algorithms and 3D modeling, and it can be operated with limited computing resources.
Yokogawa is developing and providing AI-based solutions for plants and public infrastructure projects. Acquiring Grazper's technology will enable the company to provide solutions that use AI for image analysis, such as capturing image information for robots, detecting abnormalities at plants, and monitoring security using cameras. As a first step, Yokogawa's subsidiary, amnimo Inc., will embed Grazper's FPGA IP core into its Edge Gateway industrial LTE gateway, which is currently under development. This will make possible solutions for smart city projects and security applications targeting airports and railways.
As part of Yokogawa's Transformation 2020 mid-term business plan, the company is working with customers on digital transformation initiatives that utilize technologies such as AI and IoT. Through this acquisition and the addition of new technology, Yokogawa will create new value by co-innovating with customers.