Walmart turns to Brain Corp to give shop floor machines "brains"

Autonomous vehicle software startup Brain Corp has reached a deal to provide Walmart with up to 360 AI-powered machines by January 31, 2019

3Dec

Walmart has partnered with intelligent machine company Brain Corp to provide the retail giant's fleet of shop floor machines with "brains". The startup aims to have 360 of Walmart machines powered by its AI operating system, BrainOS, by the end of January 2019.

Based in San Diego, Brain Corp's autonomous navigation platform BrainOS is a proprietary operating system which can be customized to fit specific needs of an enterprise. The software transforms off-the-shelf machines and vehicles into smart machines by equipping them with computer vision, and providing access to an AI library which allows them to learn how to autonomously navigate through "dynamic environments" such as airports or retail stores.


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Brain Corp's platform is able to integrate with existing assets, making the deployment and scale of the solution easier. The machines learn by simple demonstration and are capable of communicating and updating other machines while idle.

Founded in 2009 by its current CEO Dr Eugene Izhikevich and executive VP Dr. Allen Gruber, Brain Corp raised $114m in 2017 in a round of funding led by SoftBank's Vision Fund, as the startup attempts to tap into the increasing interest in AI from both the retail sphere and self-driving vehicle manufacturers.

"We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to enhance customer experience at its retail locations," remarked Izhikevich. "BrainOS technology allows robots to effectively and safely function in complex, crowded environments, ensuring increased productivity and efficiency across applications. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Walmart to help build intelligent, connected stores."

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