Dublin’s Ubotica reveals latest platform to send AI into space

24 Feb 2023

Image: © Andrey Armyagov/Stock.adobe.com

Ubotica said its new hardware platform is designed to be compatible with miniature cube satellites and will expand the capabilities of Earth observation systems.

Space-tech company Ubotica Technologies has unveiled its latest hardware platform, which is designed to get AI into orbit.

The company said its new platform – called CogniSat-XE2 – is designed to be compatible with smaller satellites, including miniature cube satellites. The new platform also delivers increased compute performance.

The Dublin-based company said this platform allows satellites to perform various AI-enabled applications such as real-time navigation, collision avoidance, image analysis, insight generation, area of interest identification and smart data management.

A motherboard with the Ubotica logo written on it, in a white background.

The CogniSat-XE2. Image: Ubotica Technologies.

Ubotica product VP John Doody said the latest hardware will expand the “capabilities and autonomy” of Earth observation satellite constellations.

“Image analysis at the edge in space can be used to direct space-based observation assets in real time to areas of specific interest,” Doody said. “Operation of CogniSat-XE2 is programmable in orbit and can be dynamically enhanced based on operator need or the real-time analysis of sensor data.”

Last November, Ubotica announced a partnership with UK company Open Cosmos, to bring an AI-centric satellite into orbit.

The Dublin company said its latest hardware platform is available for other customers and will be used in the upcoming mission with Open Cosmos, known as CogniSat-6.

Founded in 2017 and based at Dublin City University’s research and innovation campus, DCU Alpha, Ubotica’s tagline is “smarts for smart satellites”.

It has close links with Movidius, the AI business that was acquired by Intel in 2016. Some of Ubotica’s senior team emerged from Movidius and Ubotica’s tech was built around the Intel Movidius Myriad 2 vision processing unit.

As well as its AI engineers based at DCU Alpha, the company has a team of computer vision engineers in Spain and a team of space systems experts in the Netherlands.

Last May, Ubotica raised €4m in a seed funding round led by Atlantic Bridge to help develop the next generation of its tech.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic