We talked to Jordi Vallès of Indeep Vision about Deep Learning industrial and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jordi Vallès: Luckily, until now, the few relatives and friends that have been infected with Coronavirus have been mild cases. I hope that we all can be out of danger with the new vaccines in the next few months, and everything returns to normal.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Indeep Vision.
Jordi Vallès: I studied aeronautical engineering, but I started working in industrial automation, and I loved it. I like the idea of having machines and robots do the hard work for us, and I believe in the benefits that industrial technology has for society. Maybe it is obvious, but all the welfare we enjoy today has been achieved thanks to the last two centuries’ industrial revolutions. Now we are at the beginning of the 4th industrial revolution. We created this company because vision is the primary bottleneck to factory automation. The industry has very advanced robots, sensors, and communications but still lacks reliable vision technology.
How does Indeep Vision innovate?
Jordi Vallès: We have created a machine vision framework that industries can use to automate any process, from quality inspection to robot guidance. There are now no limits to what can be achieved. Until now, tasks that were considered impossible to automate are now being automated thanks to the use of artificial intelligence. My idea of innovation is a constant dialectic between your own idea of what your product needs to be in the future and the feedback you get from customers and experience.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jordi Vallès: In the first months of the pandemic in Europe, from March to May, we saw how many customers postponed their investment decisions. I suppose it was the same for everybody. But because we are still a small company, we were able to maneuver easily, switching to telework and concentrating on the development of our software. However, we now see this pandemic as an opportunity for us.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jordi Vallès: No, at least not the kind of difficult choices that other businesses needed to make. I think we have learnt what I suppose one learns from an economic crisis, that you cannot take anything for granted. What appears solid today may evaporate tomorrow, and this is perhaps, although strangely, one of the mechanisms of progress.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Jordi Vallès: The team is doing good. We are all quite young and passionate about our work. Maybe it is the kind of work we do that is very engaging. One day you may be programming software, and then you need to communicate with a camera, and you will start working with hardware, or you need to create a new vision algorithm. I do not know, and maybe this can also be stressful if one prefers a more delimited line of work.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jordi Vallès: Our competitors are the big global players of machine vision for the industry. What we see is that although vision technology is advancing fast and fast enough to allow automatic driving, for example, all this progress is not arriving at the factory floor. Maybe the reason we can compete with them is that we have a shorter time-to-market; smaller organizations sometimes have the advantage of more flexibility. We are also working with more direct contact with clients, and we plan to keep this as we grow. Besides our new technology, for sure we try to make things different.
Your final thoughts?
Jordi Vallès: I think that in the next few years, we are going to see an important increase in productivity in the economy thanks to the advances in artificial intelligence. Factory automation and machine vision, in particular, are going to be important contributors because they are going to be cheaper and more reliable. In the process, I would also like us to figure out a way of bringing the quality of hand-crafted products to mass production, but maybe it is a bit early for this.