CES has morphed into a mini auto show and that trend is continuing as Honda will use the event to introduce a handful of technologies supported by their Xcelerator program.
This year’s focus is on “augmenting human capabilities” and showcasing devices that help improve ergonomics in a manufacturing environment. As part of this effort, Honda Xcelerator will showcase four collaborations with startups such as Monolith AI, Noonee, Skelex and UVeye.
While the companies aren’t household names, Noonee specializes in exoskeletons and will show the Chairless Chair 2.0. It’s an innovative attachment designed for employees that spend hours on their feet.
Essentially a wearable chair, the attachment allows users to easily transition from sitting, walking and standing. Honda says it helps to avoid an “unhealthy posture and pressure on joints that can lead to injuries.”
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The Skelex 360 is a more traditional exoskeleton that has been designed to alleviate shoulder fatigue caused by repetitive overhead work. In order to do this, the device provides an adjustable lift force of between 1.1 lbs (0.5 kg) and 8.8 lbs (4 kg). Honda says this creates a “sensation of weightlessness in the arms when reaching overhead.”
UVeye’s technology is all about quality control and they have developed an artificial intelligence technology that can check chassis components, bodywork and tires for flaws. The process of scanning, detecting issues and alerting users only takes seconds, and this can be done throughout the lifecycle of a vehicle. As a result, the technology could be used on production lines as well as at dealership service centers.
The fourth technology comes from Monolith AI and it’s a “library of machine learning algorithms uniquely tailored to advanced engineering applications.” The technology promises to be able to predict how designs will work and find improvements to make them better. This is a boon for companies as it promises to speed up development while also lowering costs.
Besides the aforementioned technologies and devices, Honda Xcelerator will also show “soon-to-be commercialized technologies” from Drivemode and SoundHound.
Drivemode will use CES to showcase their so-called “Smartphone as Brain” technology. It allows motorcycle riders to connect their smartphone to their bike, and then use voice recognition technology or switches on the handle bar to control their device.
SoundHound, on the other hand, has developed conversational assistant known as the Honda Personal Assistant. When users say “Ok Honda,” the assistant will wake up and be able to respond to questions and commands.