Tangram Vision’s AI-powered 3D sensor could transform computer vision in robotics

Key Takeaways:

– Tangram Vision has unveiled a new 3D depth sensor called HiFi that simplifies the process of adding AI-enhanced 3D data to robots.
– HiFi combines high-resolution 3D sensing with AI processing power and computer vision algorithms, eliminating the need for specialized engineers.
– The onboard neural processing unit powers AI models on HiFi, enabling out-of-the-box capabilities like people detection and object classification.
– HiFi aims to accelerate robotics development by allowing small teams to access sophisticated computer vision capabilities.
– Tangram Vision is launching HiFi on Kickstarter for $549, targeting hackers, developers, and robotics companies.
– HiFi has the potential to disrupt the robotics vision market and save organizations time and cost in integrating computer vision and AI into their robotic systems.
– Tangram Vision is led by experienced veterans in computer vision and robotics, but as a young startup, it still has much to prove.
– The focus on robotic vision represents a calculated bet by Tangram Vision that this space is ripe for disruption.
– Tangram Vision is eager to get HiFi in the hands of roboticists and developers to showcase its capabilities.

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Tangram Vision, a startup building software and hardware for robotic perception, unveiled a new 3D depth sensor today called HiFi that packs powerful computer vision capabilities into an off-the-shelf product priced at $549.

The sensor aims to “make it dead simple to add AI-enhanced 3D data to robots,” Adam Rodnitzky, cofounder and COO of Tangram Vision, told VentureBeat.

HiFi combines high-resolution 3D sensing with AI processing power and computer vision algorithms built directly into the device.

This allows it to simplify challenging tasks like calibration, navigation and running neural networks that are critical for robotics applications but often require teams of specialized engineers to implement.

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“Traditionally, robotics has relied quite a lot on sensors,” said Rodnitzky. “But there’s actually a lot of not-so-fun stuff that comes with adding sensors to robotic platforms, like sensor calibration and maintenance. With HiFi, we’ve built all that complex software right into the device itself.”

The onboard neural processing unit powers AI models on HiFi, which enables out-of-the-box capabilities such as people detection, object classification, and scene segmentation. (Credit: Tangram Vision)

Accelerating robotics development

By handling these complex tasks onboard, HiFi allows even small teams to tap into sophisticated computer vision capabilities and speed up development of robotics products.

Tangram Vision is launching HiFi on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter for $549, aiming to get the sensor into the hands of a wide community of hackers, developers and robotics companies. The company previously used Kickstarter to launch an early 3D sensor prototype and cited the platform’s access to developers as a key reason for returning.

Disrupting the robotics vision market

An out-of-the-box solution like HiFi has the potential to significantly move the needle on adoption of computer vision capabilities and speed development cycles in robotics.

Many robotics companies rely heavily on some form of computer vision, but actually implementing and maintaining these systems can become an expensive undertaking.  According to a recent McKinsey report, the primary challenges to adoption include the capital cost of robots and a company’s general lack of experience with automation.

If Tangram Vision can deliver with HiFi, it could mean huge time and cost savings for any organization looking to integrate computer vision and AI into their robotic systems.

With a streamlined product designed squarely for the needs of robotic applications, the young startup seems poised to make waves in the red hot AI robotics space if it can deliver on its promises. But having launched only in 2020, Tangram Vision still has a lot to prove.

Run by robotics veterans

The company is led by experienced veterans with roots in computer vision and robotics, including time at early pioneer Occipital. Tangram Vision will need to leverage that experience as it faces off against much larger and more established sensor incumbents in the market. 

But its focus directly on the emerging niche of robotic vision represents a calculated bet that this space is ripe for disruption by applying the right software smarts.

“We think we’ve built something pretty special in HiFi,” said Rodnitzky. “We can’t wait to get it in the hands of as many roboticist and developers as possible to really see it shine.”

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AI Eclipse TLDR:

Tangram Vision, a startup specializing in software and hardware for robotic perception, has unveiled a new 3D depth sensor called HiFi. Priced at $549, the sensor aims to simplify the process of adding AI-enhanced 3D data to robots. It combines high-resolution 3D sensing with AI processing power and computer vision algorithms built directly into the device. HiFi eliminates the need for complex software implementation and maintenance, making it easier for small teams to tap into sophisticated computer vision capabilities and accelerate the development of robotics products. Tangram Vision plans to launch HiFi on Kickstarter to reach a wide community of hackers, developers, and robotics companies. The startup hopes that its out-of-the-box solution will disrupt the robotics vision market and drive adoption of computer vision capabilities in robotics. Tangram Vision is led by experienced veterans in computer vision and robotics and is confident that HiFi will make a significant impact in the industry.