Sundance joins Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage AI/ML incubator

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Sundance Multiprocessor Technology has joined Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage business incubator, in a move that will help to deepen its expertise in the deployment of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) techniques across a diverse range of embedded systems applications.

Sundance forms part of an additional, new cohort of 10 early-stage and scaleup companies joining the Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage providing a range of AI/ML products, platforms and services. In addition to Sundance’s embedded platforms optimised for running deep learning algorithms used for performing autonomous navigation and other 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.

Digital Catapult is the UK's advanced digital technology innovation centre and connects start-up and scaleup companies with large businesses, investors, government and public organisations, and research and academia. Its Machine Intelligence Garage aims to provide 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 the Garage gives Sundance access to a broad range of compute-intensive resources available on Amazon’s AWS Cloud that are 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 said that it will utilise these 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.”