Sundance joins UK AI incubator
Embedded module maker Sundance Multiprocessor Technology has joined Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage business incubator.
The move is intended to accelerate and deepen its knowledge and expertise in the deployment of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) techniques for a diverse range of embedded systems applications.
Sundance is part of an additional, new cohort of 10 early-stage and scaleup companies joining Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage providing a range of AI/ML products, platforms and services. In addition to Sundance’s highly efficient and low power consumption embedded platforms optimised for running deep learning algorithms used for performing autonomous navigation and for other general computer vision applications, these companies are working on a range of applications that include video analytics for improved livestock welfare management, solutions for reducing greenhouse emissions, interactive podcasting and neural networking.
The Digital Catapult start-up and scaleup companies with large businesses, investors, government and public organisations, and research and academia to provide access to the expertise and mentoring required to help them develop and reach their full potential. Its Machine Intelligence Garage was established in 2017 to provide this support in the AI/ML arena as well as provide access to the compute-intensive power needed by these enterprises to develop and test their models. It is delivered as part of London’s CAP-AI project and is part funded through the European Regional Development Fund.
“We started the Machine Intelligence Garage to address the challenges the UK’s promising early stage AI and ML companies face, accelerating their growth and helping them realise their true potential by providing access to high-level computational power, relevant expertise, mentoring and networking opportunities,” said Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult. “Sundance’s clear vision for the delivery of powerful, relevant embedded systems platforms has deservedly earned them their place in the programme. We look forward to seeing the difference they will derive from the resources we offer, engagement with our mentors, and with each other.”
Membership of Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage gives Sundance access to the range of compute-intensive resources available on Amazon’s AWS Cloud needed for its ongoing development of boards for AI/ML applications. These include Amazon’s AWS RoboMaker, a complete cloud solution for robotics developers to simulate, test, and securely deploy robotic applications at scale, and the full range of Xilinx FPGAs and associated development tools that have been integrated into the AWS Cloud for accelerated custom hardware deployment.
Sundance will use the cloud-based resources for the ongoing development of several current AI/ML projects it is involved with, including UK Research and Innovation’s Autonomous Robotic InSpEction (ARISE) project, an Edge AI robotics application. ARISE is an underground mining application that aims to implement autonomous surveys of geotechnical conditions during the normally unproductive period immediately after blasting when workers vacate the mine due to post-blasting fumes and seismic risk.
The ARISE project will use Sundance’s VCS1 embedded processor platform that incorporates a Xilinx Zynq MPSoC and has been designed specifically for precision robotics incorporating complex, real-time vision, control, and sensor applications.
Sundance will use access to the AWS Cloud for accelerating the neural network and machine learning algorithms to enable autonomous robotics control inside a mine without the need to access the cloud.
“We are extremely pleased to have been accepted into Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage programme,” said Flemming Christensen, Managing Director of Sundance Multiprocessor Technology. “Their unique set of resources, expertise, and insight in the machine intelligence market will be of considerable benefit to our ongoing AI and ML projects. Membership will provide us with an ideal platform to significantly enhance our own AI/ML knowledge and expertise.”
Sundance, founded in 1989 by the current directors, is a member of the Xilinx Alliance, Texas Instruments’ Design Network and MathWorks’ Connection programs. Sundance is also a member of the PC/104 Consortium, the focal point for the PC/104 industry including manufactures and OEMs.