What Computer Vision App Will Have the Greatest Impact on Industry 4.0

By Liz Oz • Sep 22, 2021

alwaysAI Answers What Computer Vision Application Will Have The Greatest Impact on Industry 4.0

Curious what the leading minds in AI and Computer Vision think will make the most significant difference in the future of industry? Follow along as alwaysAI’s staff share their favorite Computer Vision (CV) applications for Industry 4.0.

What CV application, use case, or model are you the most excited about regarding its implementation in the development of Industry 4.0?


Dalton Varney, Business Development Manager:

I’m the most excited about new Computer Vision technology that’s centered around improving the retail experience.

Computer Vision solutions can significantly simplify processes in various industries, from retail to manufacturing, construction, and more. By replacing legacy vision systems and technology, Computer Vision can solve more real-world problems that require a broader skillset. They can also empower solutions such as sorting tasks, monitoring, packaging of goods, and automation.

Computer Vision solutions can alleviate supply chain issues found in construction, semiconductor manufacturing, and more in the manufacturing industry. Specifically, AMRs with objective avoidance and object detection enable use cases that don’t require constant monitoring by a human. This autonomy can give employees more time, energy, and money to spend on tasks that require human thought and action.

In the retail industry, Computer Vision-based checkout systems can improve the customer experience by streamlining the checkout process and reducing the time spent scanning each item. Most retail stores are still using antiquated technology such as barcodes and individual item scanning. As such, consumers spend a lot of time scanning items one by one after picking them off the shelves. If they scan more than one item at once or move too quickly, they are also likely to encounter errors such as “please place your item in the bagging area.” This frustrating user experience can be resolved by Computer Vision applications that follow shoppers in the store, monitoring what is placed in their cart. These object identification and people tracking models would allow shoppers to leave the store without the need for a formal checkout process.

Steve Griset, Co-Founder & CTO:

I'm most excited about three major applications for Computer Vision in Industry 4.0: vision-guided robots on the warehouse floor, defect detection and reduction, and barcode scanning.

Vision-guided robots on the warehouse floor

These robots are equipped with fiducial markers such as AprilTags, which are reference objects placed in the camera’s field of view when a video or image frame is captured. The Computer Vision software will then identify the AprilTags in the image or video and perform actions based on the tag, such as:

  • Camera calibration
  • Object size measurement
  • Autonomous navigation
  • Object orientation
  • Distance measurement

Defect detection and reduction

Computer Vision applications can be a cost-effective solution for reducing and detecting defects during the product inspection process. A Computer Vision application can scan the product from several angles to match it to the acceptance criteria. It can also save the accompanying metadata, which can be used to inform the manager or stop production if the number of faulty product items reaches a certain threshold.

Computer Vision applications can inspect the following aspects of an item:

  • Whether the edges are intact
  • Whether it’s filled to the necessary level (if it is a container)
  • Whether it has the desired color, length, or width

Barcode scanning

Finally, like Dalton, I’m excited about Computer Vision applications’ barcode scanning abilities. We can simplify the checkout process by using Computer Vision applications to scan barcodes quickly and effectively on a large scale for manufacturers. This can:‌

  1. Improve the manufacturer’s inventory management process
  2. Speed up the order processing
  3. Enhance a tracking system

Marty Beard, Co-Founder & CEO:

Like Dalton and Steve, I’m very excited about what the future offers. Robots and Computer Vision will augment human operators in the warehouse, the factory floor, and more.

The trend towards automation will only accelerate. It’s been accelerating already, especially in recent years, due to the enormous labor and supply chain disruptions we have recently experienced. 

I foresee CV being used in the following scenarios:

  • To help robotic arms “see” and scan for anomalies and defects in production. This will help cut down costs by avoiding costly restarts.
  • As an “auditing” function to make sure environments are safe for workers
  • To produce records of what happened if something does go wrong

It should be worth noting that CV won’t outright replace human operators. CV and robotics will be integrated into the workplace so human operators can work more efficiently and effectively. CV will also help companies reduce costs by avoiding costly restarts, ensuring compliance with health and safety practices, and more.

Scott Miller, Head of Product & Partner Management: 

What am I the most excited about? How Industry 4.0 will digitize the factory.

Essentially, if you don’t digitize your factory, you haven’t done Industry 4.0. To digitize your factory, you need to build an activity graph for your factory, which I’ve called in a past life “the industrial graph.” Your factory’s machine parts, your factory’s location, and other physical factors like where the cars are located are a vital part of the industrial graph since digitization requires knowing how things are moving through at different times of the day.

Once you’ve figured that all out, Computer Vision will help you visualize and understand how people will interact with different things in the industrial plant. You’ll find the answers to essential basic questions like:

  • Who’s near what?
  • What are these people doing?
  • Where are these people located, and where have they come from?

By integrating Computer Vision into your workplace, your industrial graph will expand beyond just the things in your factory to include people, activities, and things. 

About alwaysAI

alwaysAI® is a customer-oriented platform for building, deploying and managing CV applications on Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Powerful, intuitive, and always on the cutting edge of Computer Vision innovation, alwaysAI provides a deep catalog of pre-trained AI models, integrated cloud model training capabilities, a comprehensive arsenal of APIs to customize CV applications,  simple edge deployment and run-time engine and powerful analytics framework to enable real-time insight across your customers and value-chain.  In short, everything an enterprise needs to build and deploy computer applications on the Edge - where work and life happens. 

Get started by creating a free account at alwaysAI.co, or schedule a demo to speak to our Computer Vision experts.

By Liz Oz • Sep 22, 2021




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