Chairperson, Novetex Textiles
Issei Takino’s company Mujin does something that would cause many an eyebrow to be raised: It helps industrial robots think for themselves.
Takino set up the company in 2011 with cofounder and CTO Rosen Diankov, a graduate from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
It was a complementary combination. Takino’s background in manufacturing — he worked for a while at the Warren Buffet-owned industrial manufacturer ISCAR — brought a deep understanding of the manufacturing process, which sat well with Diankov’s computer science and AI background.
Whereas most industrial robots are programmed to perform a limited set of motions, Mujin’s controllers, vision systems, and other products upgrade these capabilities. Among other things, the technology allows robots to recognize and respond to new environments, and to self-adapt motion and posture in response.
Such upgrades may seem like minor enhancements, but in the world of industrial robots, it is a significant advance. Through the Mujin technology, robots are capable of complex behaviors and movements that would be impossible to achieve, even with human programming. Or, as Takino puts it, the ability to behave a little more like humans.