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LAWRENCE — Self-driving bulldozers and other heavy equipment are on the way as a new partnership between Doosan Bobcat North America and Ainstein AI breaks ground.
“We have the technology arm to be able to lead and to help them accomplish their vision,” Zongbo Wang, Ainstein founder and CEO, said of the multi-year partnership between the companies.
Lawrence-based Ainstein will create radar sensor solutions that attach to heavy equipment and collect data, detect objects, and provide real-time alerts on a jobsite using mmWave radar, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence — ultimately eliminating the need for human work and making operations more efficient, Wang said.
“It’s really a type of robotics that can do all the construction work. Digging, trenching, etcetera,” he explained of what the future of work might soon look like for construction workers. “Engineers, we just make them more intelligent.”
Click here to read more about Ainstein and its predictions for an autonomous future.
The collaboration is inline with a Bobcat initiative that prioritizes innovation and technology and seeks forward-looking solutions that help equipment owners and operators maximize productivity, efficiency and safety, the company said.
“This strategic partnership leverages the respective strengths of Bobcat and Ainstein to further advance our connected and autonomous technology,” Joel Honeyman, vice president of global innovation at Bobcat, said in a release.
“Working together, we can evolve autonomous operations and provide our customers with optimal productivity and the ultimate operator experience through sensor technology,” he added.
Announced in the throws of a global pandemic, Wang said COVID-19 has had minimal impact on operations at Ainstein.
“We’re focusing on delivering the technology and the product. So from this perspective, it’s given us a very good opportunity to further grow our products [and] level of maturity,” he said.
“We are not heavily sales-driven or a customer-facing company. … Our customers, they have not been impacted, so we are in good shape.”
The company has used the slowed world to dig in its heels within the tech space and is looking toward a future that includes additional big-name partnerships and further embodiment of the startup’s mission — making the world safer and smarter, Wang said.
“Based on the past a few years, we’ve really positioned the company well as a non-radar technology company [and useful] in different industries,” he said, noting evolution for the startup, which is widely known for its stance and commitment toradar technologies and sensor data processing intelligence as primary drivers of an autonomous future.
“We feel we are welcoming a new stage of recognizing all our technology innovations into some of the customer solutions,” Wang said.
While the deal with Bobcat isn’t the startup’s first corporate partnership — they’ve landed several that Wang could not name publicly, he said — Ainstein is celebrating the move as if it was, Wang noted.
“Overall we feel excited, being identified as a technology leader since our cross into multiple industries. … That’s going to bring more and more opportunities [and] not from one specific industry,” he said, noting potential to grow for the company’s solutions to grow into such industries as retail and the automotive space.
“I feel that we are on the right track of growing the company,” Wang added. “I really feel very fortunate that there are so many talents and great engineers to help us to grow a great company in this region.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.