ABB Robotics has launched its 2024 Robotics AI Startup Challenge, through which start-ups and scale-ups can nominate their artificial intelligence solutions for a $30,000 (€27,594.15) prize fund, alongside partnership and investment opportunities.

Participants are encouraged to submit their ideas and solutions in the key areas of natural language programming, skill learning, and autonomous decision-making. They will be given access to ‘cutting-edge’ robotic technologies and work with ABB’s ‘world-class engineers’, as well as its customer and partner networks.

A cash prize of $30,000 (€27,594.15) will be awarded to the winning team, which will then be offered a long-term partnership with ABB. Apparently, this will enable the company to explore joint go-to-market strategies and investment opportunities.

ABB hopes the competition will result in next-generation robots that will benefit both employees and companies with intuitive, adaptable, efficient, and easy-to-use AI features.

Marc Segura, president of ABB Robotics, explained: “Innovation has been at the heart of ABB since the foundation of our robotics business 50 years ago and we recognize the immense potential of start-ups and scale-ups in driving technological advancement. The ABB Robotics AI Startup Challenge is an opportunity for us to partner with the most creative and forward-thinking minds in the field, as we work together to shape the future of robotics and automation.”

The ABB Robotics AI Startup Challenge is now open for applications, and proposals must be submitted by 12th June 2024. More information about the application process, eligibility criteria, and more are available on the competition’s website.

The challenge forms part of ABB’s Innovation Ecosystem, which aims to facilitate collaboration and drive the development of emerging technologies. A previous challenge led to ABB’s acquisition of Sevensense earlier this year; the start-up specializes in AI-enabled 3D vision navigation technology for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).

Other recent collaborations related to AI include TOMRA’s acquisition of a 25% stake in PolyPerception. This start-up provides AI-based waste flow monitoring for PET recyclers and sorting plants, which TOMRA hopes to harness to improve its own position in the AI space.

Bollegraaf has also made a total cash investment of €12.8 million for a non-controlling stake in Greyparrot. In turn, Greyparrot will acquire Bollegraaf’s vision-based computing intellectual property and AI development team – and, together, the companies seek to develop intelligent and automated recycling plants using AI technology.

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