Honda Xcelerator, a global open innovation program from Honda Innovations, will debut collaborations at CES 2020 with startups focused on augmenting human capabilities and devices that enhance workplace ergonomics for the manufacturing environment. Honda Xcelerator also will showcase soon-to-be commercialized technologies based on successful collaborations with Drivemode and SoundHound Inc.
Demonstrations of the industrial innovation collaborations between Honda and Monolith AI, noonee, Skelex, and UVeye will take place at Honda’s booth #7900 in the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 7-10, 2020. The Honda Xcelerator Industrial Innovation Pavilion is part of Honda’s overall presence at CES, which will feature concepts that integrate connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) technologies into new mobility products and services.
Honda Xcelerator will showcase the following industrial innovation collaborations at CES:
Monolith AI has created a library of machine learning algorithms uniquely tailored to advanced engineering applications. With an intuitive user interface, the resulting cloud solution provides engineering companies with an unprecedented capability to predict and improve performance ahead of time, and avoid costly iterations along their entire complex development cycle. Companies can create and share sophisticated AI solutions faster, linking different departments and applications, ultimately saving time and money in today’s hyper-efficient product development processes.
Noonee, an innovative German company in the field of exoskeletons, will demonstrate the next generation of its Chairless Chair, a passive exoskeleton that enables employees with standing workplaces to work ergonomically, comfortably and productively. The Chairless Chair 2.0 offers a light-weight design, easily expandable sizing and very comfortable seatpads. The wearable chair enables users to flexibly switch between active sitting, walking and standing – avoiding unhealthy posture and pressure on joints that can lead to injuries.
Skelex has developed an ergonomic device for the manufacturing environment to reduce risk of repetitive strain injuries. Designed for alleviating fatigue from the shoulders resulting from repetitive overhead work, Skelex 360 enhances the natural motion of the arms and torso. The device creates a sensation of weightlessness in the arms when reaching overhead by providing adjustable lift force from 0.5 kg to 4 kg. The result is an intuitive and seamless experience where the device works as an extension of the body, providing support to the arms without obstructing movement.
UVeye is introducing new AI technology that promises to dramatically change how auto makers and dealerships inspect vehicles for quality issues. The company’s systems can check chassis components, bodywork and tires for external and mechanical flaws and detect other quality issues. The scanning, detecting and alerting process completes within seconds and can be used throughout the entire lifecycle of a vehicle.
“At Honda, we believe the human touch is still required to achieve high-quality and flexibility in manufacturing,” said Dennis Clark, managing director of Strategic Venture Partnerships at Honda Innovations. “By collaborating with innovative startups, we want to ensure our associates have a safe production environment while providing them with advanced tools that make our manufacturing processes even more efficient.”
Commercialization of Honda Xcelerator Collaborations
Honda Xcelerator also will showcase successful collaborations with Drivemode, a startup that develops and operates smartphone-based connected services, and SoundHound Inc., the leading innovator in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies. Honda’s expanded engagement with these companies – through the acquisition of Drivemode and an equity investment in SoundHound Inc. – along with previously announced plans to commercialize their technologies demonstrate Honda Xcelerator’s critical role in fostering collaboration with startups.
“Our acquisition of Drivemode and strategic investment in SoundHound Inc. are two examples of Honda Xcelerator’s strong commitment to drive our startup collaborations beyond a one-off proof of concept into our tangible products,” said Clark.
Honda and Drivemode jointly developed “Smartphone as Brain” technology, which provides a safe and convenient way for drivers or motorcycle riders to integrate their smartphones into the driving and riding experience while minimizing distraction. For instance, riders can connect their smartphone and motorcycle by Bluetooth®, enabling them to control their smartphone either using switches on the steering handles or voice recognition. Honda acquired Drivemode in October 2019, and will demonstrate Smartphone as Brain technology at CES.
Honda and SoundHound Inc. have developed a voice-enabled AI conversational assistant – Honda Personal Assistant – to support drivers and enable a comfortable mobility experience. SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice AI platform includes patented Speech-to-Meaning™ and Deep Meaning Understanding™ technologies to deliver unprecedented speed and accuracy in voice recognition and responses, and an ability to understand context, such as the user’s location or previous queries, to support natural interactions. Using the custom wake word “OK Honda” developed by SoundHound Inc., Honda Personal Assistant connects people with their mobility products and realizes a seamless world where various functions are controlled by voice only.
Honda Xcelerator and the Global Startup Community
Headquartered in Silicon Valley with satellite offices in North America, Europe, Israel, China, and Japan, Honda Xcelerator is designed for innovators across all funding stages who seek to transform technology and business. Honda created this program to engage innovators in an open and supportive environment. Its focus areas are intentionally broad and include AI/Robotics, Autonomous Driving, Human Machine Interface, MicroMobility, Connected Car Services, Energy Innovation, Industrial Innovation, and Business Process Innovation. Honda Xcelerator offers funding for rapid prototyping, collaborative workspaces, and pairing with Honda mentors.
Innovators and startups that are interested in collaboration opportunities are encouraged to meet with Honda Xcelerator representatives at Honda’s CES booth. For more information about Honda Xcelerator, visit Xcelerator.HondaInnovations.com and follow @HondaInnovation on Twitter.
About Honda Innovations
Honda Innovations drives transformative collaboration within all areas of Honda. As part of Honda Innovations, Honda Xcelerator and Honda Developer Studio, two open innovation programs, serve as catalysts to discover and experiment with new technologies and business concepts. Honda Innovations partners with innovators of all shapes and sizes from startups to global brands and design and development communities to create cutting edge products and services. Honda Innovations is based in Silicon Valley and operates globally. To learn more, visit HondaInnovations.com.