Advanced Intelligent Systems
Headquarters: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Operating System: ROS
The company was founded in 2013 by Farhang Bidram (CTO), a robotics entrepreneur with more than 20 years experience in creating robotic solutions from scratch, and Robert Vahedi (COO), a managing consultant engineer with more than 20 years of international experience at various tech companies, financial institutions and corporations.
Farhang and Robert had the vision to provide a custom robotic solution to meet an imminent need in nursery and agricultural companies to automate tasks that are difficult or dangerous to perform. Advanced Intelligent Systems was established out of the vision to provide custom autonomous robotic solutions to industries faced with labor shortage challenges for dangerous or repetitive tasks.
There are 8 key features in the AI Systems solution:
- Artificial Intelligence
- User interaction
- Cloud and fog computing
- application tools
- Computing unit
- Base platform
First Market Vertical: Horticulture
It took 5 years to create the first product. Horticulture is the first market vertical into which AI Systems is deploying solutions. They chose this market vertical due to the lack of automation and the opportunity to successfully develop a viable solution.
The AI Systems BigTop mobile robot solves the repetitive and laborious task of moving and spacing pots of different sizes and weights in greenhouse nurseries. Through their proprietary algorithms BigTop is able to identify potted plants of various shapes and move them for optimal growth. This ability to identify, lift and move plants to their ideal position provides huge value to the nursery and agricultural industries.
From the beginning, the AI Systems development team approached the robot design as a modular system. Although the initial BigTop robot is optimized for horticulture applications, all of the various components are designed to be optioned into another configuration for future applications.
AIS Connect allows AIS and horticultural machine distributors to manage and monitor the machines in the field by tracking work volume and monitoring their health status. Collecting data allows machine manufacturers to perform predictive maintenance to increase reliability and lower repair costs. AIS and machine manufacturers can also issue and execute over the air (OTA) software updates through AIS Connect. In addition, AIS Connect enables machine manufacturers to issue invoices based on the work performed. The MaaS business model makes the machines affordable for the plant nurseries by lowering the initial cost extensively.
Robot as a Service
Core to the AI Systems business model is the concept of Robots as a Service. This is a business model which makes total sense for the AI Systems go to market. Rather than selling the robot as a capital investment, a plant nursery will pay a basic monthly fee for each mobile robot deployed. Then there is a "per pick" fee for every plant moved by the BigTop mobile robot. With this Key Performance measure the nursery manager can have predictable costs for using the robot.