Fleet Space Technologies transforms satellite manufacturing
Australian manufacturer - Fleet Space Technologies - has announced its application for an AUD$5mn Federal government Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) grant.
How does Fleet Space Technologies plan to use the grant?
If successful, Fleet Space Technologies plans to use the grant to supplement its self-raised AUD$4mn, in order to scale up its operations from building three hand-built nanosatellites a year to mass-producing 50.
“At present, every satellite launched by an Australian company is hand-made, and many of the components come from overseas. Our manufacturing rate is very low. Australia lacks many of the manufacturing capabilities its industry needs to build satellite payloads and the satellites themselves. And we certainly can’t produce them in volume. We want to establish these manufacturing capabilities here in Adelaide so that we can kick-start Australia’s space industry,” said , Co-Founder and CEO at Fleet Space Technologies
In addition, the grant will make Fleet Space Technologies a major satellite manufacturing hub, increasing its employees from 31 to 128 by 2024, with most of the new employees being engineers and specialist satellite assembly technicians.
Spending AUD$12mn since 2015 on research and development (R&D), Fleet Space Technologies has been working to develop “the world’s most advanced beam-steering antenna and to miniaturise its satellites’ communications payload.”
In doing so, Fleet Space Technologies makes it possible to deliver its Nebula space-based data network using a 10kg nanosatellite where previously it was only possible with a 100kg satellite.
With the grant from the MMI, Fleet Space Technologies plans to build a new factory that will have more than double the capacity for R&D and manufacturing. Fleet Space Technologies will also partner with the University of Adelaide’s Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing, Redarc Electronics, Hawker Richardson and Lintek to build the industrial capabilities to manufacture the nanosatellites in Australia.
“Winning this grant would mean Fleet Space and its partners can develop and manufacture the smartest parts of future satellites right here in Australia and provide an Australian service to a worldwide customer base. Only a handful of companies worldwide such as SpaceX and Airbus have the capacity to mass-produce satellites. We can join them, if we move quickly,” concluded Nardini.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.