Komatsu Partners with Nvidia to Improve Construction Safety Using AI

Nvidia AI identifies objects seen by a surveillance camera on a construction site.   Courtesy: Nvidia

Nvidia AI identifies objects seen by a surveillance camera on a construction site.  Courtesy: Nvidia

Japanese construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu is partnering with California-based Nvidia and other technology companies to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) to construction sites in Japan in order to provide a safer working environment for construction workers. Construction sites are considered the most dangerous workplaces in Japan, accounting for roughly 300 deaths and 15,000 injuries last year according to the Japan Construction Occupational Safety and Health Association.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced that Komatsu will use Nvidia's graphics processing units (GPUs) and Jetson AI platform to power 3-D modeling of construction sites, autonomously operate construction machinery and drones, and monitor costly onsite equipment to ensure efficiency and safety. “Artificial intelligence is sweeping across industries, and its next frontier is autonomous intelligent machines,” Huang said in a statement. “Future machines will perceive their surroundings and be continuously alert, helping operators work more efficiently and safely. The construction and mining industries will benefit greatly from these advances.”

Skycatch will provide Komatsu with drones to gather 3-D images of construction site terrain, and Optim will provide an application to continuously identify individuals and machinery caught by surveillance cameras; both of these companies are members of Nvidia's Inception program for AI startups.

Said Yuichi Iwamoto, senior executive officer and chief technology officer at Komatsu, "By leveraging Nvidia’s experience in image processing, virtualization and AI, we can further transform construction areas into job sites of the future." Read more here.