Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that has become a Preferred Partner of the U.S. startup, OSARO Inc. The intent of the partnership is to actively promote open innovation and gain knowledge from outside companies in order to accelerate the pace of product and service development, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

San Francisco-based OSARO was founded in 2015 with a focus on the development and sale of autonomous control software for industrial robots. One of the company’s strengths is their knowledge and experience of AI applications for image recognition and motion control.

Kawasaki previously engaged in joint proof-of-concept testing with OSARO to explore possibilities for AI applications in Kawasaki robots, and with this partnership, the two companies will accelerate joint development activities. Kawasaki hopes to gain knowledge in AI applications for environmental recognition, operation and movement path planning, and operation determination technologies in order to cultivate new value in Kawasaki products, including transport systems and energy equipment via automation and autonomization.

As Japan faces increasing labor shortages due to the aging of its population, coupled with declining birth rates, demand for products and services utilizing AI, ICT, and IoT is growing. To address these needs, Kawasaki has been proactively developing many new products and services, such as operational support systems for waste-to-energy plants utilizing AI.

Moving forward, Kawasaki will actively promote open innovation and foster new value throughout society.