The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing, or ARM, Institute is calling on manufacturers that use robotics, AI, and machine learning to participate in a survey this fall. The institute developed the survey with its Data for Artificial Intelligence Working Group, or DAWG, to understand how it can help operators better take advantage of the technologies.
Michael Skocik, senior programs manager at the ARM Institute and head of DAWG, told Robotics 24/7 the survey was created to help the group “understand the voice of the customer.”
“We want to understand, on their particular side, what are the pitfalls? What are the issues that manufacturers are seeing? “he asked. “We also want to understand those who are involved in implementing or integrating some of these solutions. What, perhaps, are some of the challenges they face when they’re trying to integrate or test these robotic solutions that have artificial intelligence kind of baked in?”
ARM looks to understand customers
In addition, some manufacturers want to integrate new technologies into their operations but don’t know where to get started, said Skocik.
“The intent of the survey is trying to capture the customer from a variety of personas and give us an opportunity to understand where the real problems are,” he said.
The ARM Institute will launch the survey this October, but it hasn’t set a firm date yet. The Pittsburgh-based organization said survey takers’ information will be kept anonymous. Their answers will become part of a public report the ARM Institute will use to “inform future investments in AI for robotic manufacturing systems.”
The ARM Institute was created in 2017 after Carnegie Mellon University won a bid to start an institution focusing on workforce development and the use of robotics to boost U.S. competitiveness, according to its website. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
“We exist to strengthen U.S. manufacturing through innovations in advanced manufacturing technology, particularly robotics and AI, and prepare the workforce to work alongside these technologies,” stated the ARM Institute on its webpage. “Working across industry, government, and academia, we leverage a robust ecosystem to fulfill our vision and mission.”
A DAWG in the manufacturing sector
DAWG was born out of that mission, Skocik said. The group said it aims to decrease manufacturers’ “knowledge gaps” when integrating AI and machine learning. DAWG participants include some of ARM's 300 members, such as the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI), ARIS Technology, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), General Electric Research, Siemens Technology, and Ready Robotics.
ARM said the companies have signed conflict-of-interest agreements to protect the survey takers’ information.
The working group’s feedback “has been monumental” in helping the institute understand how the technology it is testing within its own walls is being used in market, Skocik said. He said a lot of the projects ARM works on are systems that are between Level 4 through 7 on the technology readiness level (TRL) scale. The working group is serving as a reality check in a way.
“The feedback we are getting from membership is: ‘Yes, we are utilizing artificial intelligence in some limited cases in industry,’” said Skocik. “I think a lot of visual inspection is done using machine learning.”
He acknowledged that the technology is still new, and real-world use cases for AI are still limited in the robotics manufacturing space. One of key pain points is providing these systems with the right kind of data for them to work properly, Skocik added.
To register for the survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZWMZN2M