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Fields of innovation

AI-enabled fully autonomous systems

New innovative products for hundreds of millions of people

At Bosch Corporate Research, we work in three areas of autonomous systems: automated driving, robotics and future production systems. In our research, we address the challenges to make these systems perform reliably, safely, and sustainably, with the goals to advance scientific progress and deliver solutions for new products, which bring innovation to hundreds of millions of people.

Fully autonomous systems

Technological revolution

Self-driving cars, collaborative production assistants, and socially-enabled domestic robots are examples of autonomous systems at Bosch. Autonomous systems operate in complex and open-ended environments with high levels of independence and self-determination. They perceive, learn, reason and act with self-awareness and respond intelligently to unforeseen changes in the environment. We believe that such systems have the potential to deeply impact 21st century societies. They will increase quality of life for everyone, transform mobility, raise productivity, improve resource use, and enhance human safety.

“After Chess, Go and Jeopardy, machines have reached superhuman performance at recognizing objects in images and understanding conversational speech.”

Electronics Frontier Foundation, AI Progress Metrics, 2018

In our research, we advance the state of the art for technologies critical to autonomous systems, particularly in computer vision, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, optimization, control, validation and safety, sensors, and material science. In our basic research activities, we develop new theories and algorithms, collaborate with academia and follow an open innovation policy with our scientific publications and contributions to open source software. In applied research, we pre-develop and transfer research results to our business units. That allows Bosch to introduce new generations of intelligent products and services that bring innovation to hundreds of millions of people.

We focus on three areas of autonomous systems: automated driving, robotics and future production systems.

Automated driving

Automated driving will be the cornerstone of future mobility systems. Highly automated and driverless cars will make traffic safer, more convenient and more efficient. Our research in automated driving spans a large variety of topics from deep learning for multi-modal scene perception and understanding, online decision-making, and large-scale simulations to novel methodologies for validation and safety. We additionally focus on training, testing, increasing robustness as well as generalization of our methods across different vehicles, use-cases, and business models. The outcomes affect partially and highly automated driving in fully automated and mixed traffic.

Robotics

Robotics is both an enabling technology for autonomous systems and an application domain. We work on problems that extend the state of the art in simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), robot perception, planning, simulation and coordination and control, using both model and data-based methods. Examples include 24/7 year-round cm-accuracy life-long SLAM, long-term human motion prediction and deep reinforcement learning for manipulation. Our solutions are transferred into a uniquely diverse portfolio of products ranging from lightweight consumer robots, intralogistics transportation platforms, collaborative production assistants, and field robots for precision agriculture to 60-ton cargo movers.

“Excuse me sir, but that R2-D2 is in prime condition, a real bargain!”

C3PO to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, 1977

Future production systems

Future production systems will introduce highly flexible and sustainable manufacturing, characterized by mass customization, demand volatility, and resource scarcity. Such systems will be easy to set up, collaborative, self-aware, adaptive, convertible, fail-safe across varying boundary conditions, virtualized, and inter-connected through the Internet of Things (IoT). Our research focuses on such capabilities, leveraging progress in connectivity, robotics, 3D vision, machine learning and data science. This will lead, for example, to self-configuring workstations, novel perception-based human safety concepts or robots that can learn new tasks from human demonstrations.

Summary

Bosch believes in the disruptive potential of fully autonomous systems. Technologies being developed by Bosch, such as automated driving, robotics and future production systems will change 21st century societies as we know them.

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