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Sekar Udayamurthy

Co-founder and CEO

Jidoka Tech

2 Ratings

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Harnessing the power of human intelligence

Jul 13, 2021

… says Sekar Udayamurthy, Co-founder and CEO, Jidoka Tech – a player in the field of automated cognitive inspection – in this conversation with Juili Eklahare. He explains how the start-up makes automation smarter, the emerging trends in AI & industrial automation and what’s ahead for the company. Excerpts…

Jidoka Technologies recently obtained a seed funding of $340,000. What are the challenges that you faced for getting the funding?

What we were really looking for, was a mentor who would guide us to scale rather than a person who would just fund us. We found a mentor who was also a technological entrepreneur who provided us the initial funding. It took us about three to four months to get through the legal process and getting the paperwork done, which was very new to us, and we had to learn about a lot of things quickly.

How does Jidoka’s technology leverage AI to make automation smarter?

We have an innovative solution that harnesses the power of human intelligence and is incorporated into the solution to automate visual inspection. This enables the last mile in the digitisation of the shop floor. We leverage AI / Deep learning to provide quality decisions on products manufactured just as a human does but with 98% accuracy, consistently and at speed. Where there is not enough data, we also do synthetic data generation. This, combined with machine vision technology, makes automation really smart.

Can you share some of the emerging trends in the AI & digitisation markets today?

We are at the beginning of next continuous improvement revolution – Industry 4.0. To shape this revolution, technologies such as AI, cloud & edge solutions, 3D technologies and IoT are key. To digitise the shop floor, we would need to combine the emerging technologies mentioned earlier with proven technologies in order to make the right data available in a timely manner to all the stake holders, right from the personnel on the shop floor to the decision makers. These emerging technologies deliver the digital twin and lay the foundation for Industry 4.0. AI / Deep Learning then power the organisation by taking the data generated to the realm of predictive insights and proactive actions.

With constant talks about AI in the technology world, many wonder what can be done today versus what may be years away. Can you throw some light on this?

Data is wealth. We will need to collect a lot of data from various touch points. The first thing to do is to automate the data collection across manufacturing lines. Once we have that, one can take that data and use AI on top of it to make real-time decisions. Having acquired sufficient data, we can move into predictive insights and start looking at the next level, which is, taking proactive action and AI leveraged across all the three levels. Besides, these are things that can be done today – we don’t have to look too far. In order to take this to another level, say two to three years from now, scaling of human knowledge and expertise from the shop floor will be amplified to the organisation & beyond. This will be a bottoms-up approach while managing manufacturing KPIs and leveraging best practices on the shop floor & leveraging AI will be top-down.

What is next in terms of technology to extend your start-up further?

In the long-term, we have two key targets – one is being able to provide insights to help improve business practices, reduce downtime and increase ROI. Secondly, we want to move from real-time decision making and insights into proactive actions, thereby, incrementally increasing the quality of products manufactured.

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