Neurala Raises $12 Million to Accelerate AI Development in Industrial Manufacturing
Neurala raises funds to expand its vision artificial intelligence solutions and grow their inspection capabilities for OEMs in industrial manufacturing.
Neurala's AI Vision
Neurala, Inc. is an American-based software development company specializing in solutions for applications including autonomous navigation, passive sensors, obstacle avoidance, and fleet management.
One of the company’s solutions is the Neurala Brain. This is a deep learning neural network software that mimics how the human brain functions. Neurala uses this solution to provide its customers with smart products such as drones, self-driving cars, smart cameras, toys, and more.
Neurala software being used for AI inspection. Image used courtesy of Neurala
Brain builder is the company’s software as a service platform (SaaS) designed to help customers refine the creation of custom vision artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. Recently, Neurala announced that it had raised funding to further the development of vision AI for manufacturing.
AI for Industrial Quality Inspections
Neurala raised 12 million USD in a funding round led by Zebra Ventures and Pelion Adventure Partners. Other investors included Idinvest Partners, Industrial Investors IMA, Friulia, AddValue, 360 Capital Partners, Cougar Capital, and Antares Vision. Their involvement raised the fund value to 26 million USD.
Neurala will use the funding to grow its vision AI solutions and expand into the global market. The company wishes to promote its technology with particular attention to growing relationships with customers within the industrial and manufacturing space. As manufacturers make efforts to move towards Industry 4.0 with automated facilities and machinery, there is a need to improve vision inspection and quality control. This can determine the productivity of a facility and so business profits.
Neurala’s Vision Inspection Automation Software
Neurala brought forward its Vision Inspection Automation (VIA) software to help manufacturers stay on top of production line discrepancies that might contribute to unwanted downtime. Neurala VIA has been designed to help reduce product defects and increase rates of inspection.
The software comes with two modules: Brain Builder and Inspector. Supported model types include Anomaly Recognizer, Classifier, and Detector (coming soon). Supported industrial networks include Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP (coming soon), and OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA, coming soon).
Neurala's AI platform can be used in various industries, including food and beverage. Image used courtesy of Neurala
The Neurala VIA comes with an explainability feature that can highlight a specific area of an image. This induces a vision AI model to make a specific decision concerning a defect. This feature can help manufacturers improve AI model performance, and so improve productivity. Another feature is the Multi-ROI (region of interest), which helps to correctly orientate components of interest and make sure no defects are present.
In a recent news release, the CEO and Co-Founder of Neurala, Max Versace, commented, “This past year we were able to turn a global crisis into an opportunity to both completely transform our business and to catalyze much-needed innovation in the AI space.”
Manufacturers and industrial engineers can select the proper hardware for the desired application, gather data, train an AI vision model, configure outputs on a selection of industrial networks, undertake product inspections in real-time, and gather new image data to improve quality inspection processes. Possible use cases include electronic component inspection, case packing, part kitting, plastic injection molding, and surface inspection.