Dublin’s Ubotica to simplify space AI deployment with IBM

14 Sep 2023

Illustration of the CogniSat-6 satellite. Image: Ubotica

Ubotica, now an IBM partner, recently unveiled a hardware platform designed to get AI into orbit through smaller satellites.

Irish space-tech company Ubotica has struck a partnership with IBM to use its cloud infrastructure and Watson AI and make deploying space AI applications a one-click affair.

Ubotica said that mutual customers of the start-up and IBM will be able to securely deploy their AI models directly to satellites that use the Ubotica CogniSATTM platform.

The models will then generate insights from data in space, saving costs for satellite constellation operators and giving them increased autonomy and decision-making capabilities at the edge with reduced dependence on ground systems.

Watson AI, which Ubotica will use as part of the partnership, is IBM’s powerful flagship natural language processing system named after the company’s founder Thomas Watson.

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 an IBM partner, Ubotica will use the tech giant’s technology to develop its customer space AI model deployment process. The companies are collaborating to develop an enterprise AI model management system integrated into industry standard, source-control resources.

Earlier this year, Ubotica unveiled its latest hardware platform, called CogniSat-XE2, which is designed to get AI into orbit through smaller satellites, including miniature cube satellites.

The 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.

Last November, Ubotica announced a partnership with UK company Open Cosmos, to bring an AI-centric satellite into orbit. Before that, it raised €4m in a seed funding round led by Atlantic Bridge to help develop the next generation of its tech.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic