SoftBank-Backed CloudMinds Aims To Create A Cloud Intelligence Ecosystem

CloudMinds Inc., a Chinese start-up focused on the development of cloud intelligence-based applications backed by SoftBank Group Corp., aims to create a cloud intelligence ecosystem that combines the cloud, networks and terminals, it said today.

The cloud robotics company was founded by the former head of research at China Mobile in 2015. It raised US$31 million in angel and seed financing from SoftBank Group International, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Walden International and Keytone Ventures last May.

The company also announced today that SoftBank had appointed its founder and CEO Bill Huang to the technical committee of its technology fund. SoftBank is currently raising a US$100 billion joint global technology fund with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. It’s unclear if Huang is joining the committee at this fund or at a different vehicle.

CloudMinds is committed to the exploration of how to move from artificial intelligence (AI) to cloud intelligence (CI). CI-based robots have a "cloud brain" that has the same neural network as human beings, and can accomplish more complicated and precise tasks based on instructions, the firm claims.

CloudMinds revealed a guide helmet product helping the blind to navigate the streets last October in Shenzhen. The Meta Guide Helmet utilizes simultaneous localization and mapping to let the blind know their environment and interact with their surroundings via visual and voice recognition technology.

"Human beings have always been working on how to automate day-to-day activities. This is reflected by their efforts to replace stoneware with knife tools and the horse-drawn buggy with the automobile. The next goal for automation is the robot," CloudMinds said in a statement.

With the development of cloud computing and 4G and 5G network technologies, it becomes viable to position the brain on the cloud and simulate the action of nerves transferring signals and data through networks.

"The differences between mechanical intelligence, AI and CI reflect qualitative changes rather than quantitative changes, as do the differences between buggies, automobiles and the transmission of electronic information," the firm said.

CloudMinds is aiming to produce a full-service housekeeping robot in 2025 to service individual families. The robot will be connected and controlled wirelessly through cloud computing, block chain and other innovative technologies.