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Center for Applied AI and Machine Learning (CAIML) Assists InfoVision To Develop Drone-Supported Inventory System

When InfoVision envisioned a drone-based system for tasks including inventory management, the Richardson, Texas-based technology company turned to a new University of Texas at Dallas center that helps industry partners apply artificial intelligence (AI) to cutting-edge scenarios.

Researchers at the Center for Applied AI and Machine Learning (CAIML) in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science are co-creating a 3D software module with InfoVision that enables drones to navigate a warehouse autonomously and identify products. This is an emerging inventory-management method that can reduce operational costs and complexity and increase efficiency significantly.

“This is an opportunity for the University and an industry partner to work hand in hand on applied AI problems by matching theory and algorithm design with real-world applications,” said Dr. Ovidiu Daescu, professor of computer science, a former National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC) site director, and the project’s principal investigator.

The center opened in 2020 to research, train, and apply the latest AI technologies to make real-world breakthroughs with industry partners.

“InfoVision believes that academia partnerships bring in specialized knowledge and fresh perspectives, and given our physical proximity to UT Dallas, this joint project is a no-brainer – a win-win for both,” said Sean Yalamanchi, president of InfoVision.

Chithrai Mani, InfoVision’s chief technology and innovation officer, said the company collaborated with UT Dallas researchers to benefit from the center’s deep domain expertise in AI and knowledge of differentiated AI applications.

“Working with a team of computer science researchers from the University gives us the advantage of applying the latest research to overcome limitations of traditional GPS-based autonomous drones to create a solution that can be leveraged for diverse applications,” Mani said.

Dr. Douglas DeGroot, the center’s director and professor of instruction in computer science, and Dr. Gopal Gupta, the center’s co-director, professor of computer science and Erik Jonsson Chair, serve as co-principal investigators on the project, which began in January. The team is completed with Ankur Yadav, a computer science PhD student working on the project under the supervision of Daescu on algorithm design and implementation.


ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 3,315 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,110 master’s students, 165 Ph.D. students,  52 tenure-track faculty members, and 44 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2019. With the University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.