Intrinsic Partners With Comau for Testing and Improving Flowstate Robotics Software Platform

3 days ago by Seth Price

Alphabet’s Intrinsic has partnered with Comau for testing and continued development of its Flowstate robotics programming and software package.

Intrinsic has announced the release of its robotics programming and simulation environment, Flowstate. Flowstate is geared towards getting robotics development into the hands of the everyday user, not just robotics specialists and automation engineers.


Who Is Intrinsic?

Intrinsic is the artificial intelligence (AI) wing of Alphabet. Alphabet is a well-known computing company with subsidiaries that are household names, such as Google, Wing, Isomorphic Labs, and many others. Intrinsic's goal is to improve access and availability of robotics and AI systems, bringing them from megafactories into startups and commercial and residential applications. They have been involved in numerous projects, such as Google DeepMind and Google Brain.


Jake McCarter, Head of Product, presenting Intrinsic’s Flowstate

Jake McCarter, Head of Product, presenting Intrinsic’s Flowstate. Image used courtesy of Intrinsic


Intrinsic Flowstate

Intrinsic’s new robotics software, Flowstate, is a development and simulation package designed to make robots more accessible. Currently, many robotics platforms are cumbersome to program, reprogram and deploy, meaning only large companies with experienced staff tend to use them.

This web-based developer platform is intuitive and is set up to be easy to use. Rookie programmers, automation technicians, and engineers can set up work cells and navigate through behavior trees to find the right combination of feedback and controls for safe, efficient robotic movement. Besides actual programming, the Flowstate platform allows users to test ideas through the use of simulation tools and digital twinning of the environments where the robots will be used. This allows for error-checking and workflow optimization without impacting production, all from the programmer’s laptop. Minimal to no machine downtime is required.

Flowstate is currently in the beta development phase and will be offered to a limited number of developers initially. However, it will soon be available for general public use.


Comau will serve as Intrinsic's first major industrial partner for testing Flowstate

Comau will serve as Intrinsic's first major industrial partner for testing Flowstate. Image used courtesy of Comau


Comau and Intrinsic Partnership

To continually improve Intrinsic, real-world testing is required. The company has selected Comau as the first major industrial partner for testing Flowstate. Comau has 50 years of experience as a developer of automation solutions, making them a good choice for testing and development. Comau’s contribution is to leverage all of its expertise in improving and rigorously testing Flowstate against actual automation design problems.

To announce this partnership, Comau used Flowstate to develop and implement a work cell that assembled plug-in hybrid electric vehicle supermodules. Included in this task were collision avoidance, automatic robot path planning, force sensing capabilities, and many others.

Pietro Gorlier, CEO of Comau, added, “Looking forward, we will continue to leverage the synergies with Intrinsic and our expertise in collaborative, mobile, wearable, and safe robotic solutions to move closer to achieving software-defined, AI-enabled robotics, which is indispensable for all industries and areas with low automation levels.”


Comau using Flowstate to develop and implement a work cell assembling plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Image used courtesy of Comau


Making Automation Accessible

Intrinsic is becoming more organized and developing a more clear vision. While the company recently suffered some specific layoffs, it has begun acquiring talent again with more direction. The merger of Google Brain and Google DeepMind has allowed Intrinsic to become focused. The new developments in Intrinsic are proof positive that Alphabet will be making a larger impact in the robotics world in the near future.