The 2018 Bid Data Expo of Guiyang is now history. It closed Tuesday after four days of successful events and exhibitions. Details of the event, along with participants and exhibitors can be found at the Big Data Expo website: BIG DATA CENTRAL WEB SITE.
There were many similarities to the 2017, but also a surprise. It was beyond even my wildest overactive imagination. I wasn’t shy about my disappointment in the 2017 Expo because it was so lacking in robotics, motion control, and automated vehicles. I consider this to be central to our future as humans . . . see: 2017 Big Data Expo.
Though I was unsatisfied with the robotics, motion control and automated vehicle coverage in the 2017 Expo, I was MORE THAN SATISFIED with it’s prominence in 2018. Artificial intelligence (AI) was everywhere in the Pixmoving presentation. The highlights were the coffee robot, the donkey car race, and the driverless car. The coffee robot demonstrated the fine detail, proving how far robotics and AI has come. The donkey car competition showed how difficult it is to drive a car, even in fairly predictable environments and situations.
The robot that serves the coffee was impressive, but it had no eyes. No wives or children moved the coffee pot, or the cups. Nevertheless, this demonstration was very good. You can tell by the audience reaction. This display got everybody’s attention.
The Donkey Car is a car that drives itself, but with very limited intelligence. It has a small on-board computer, some rule based controls, and a camera. The camera helps the car stay between the white lines. It looks like a toy “remote control” car, but there is no (human) controller when the race begins. All the decisions on direction and speed are made by the on-board computer. It is dumb, like a donkey.
The driverless car was also a big hit. There were so many people that wanted to ride around the circuit that I heard a man complain that he waited two hours to get on the car. The driverless car has a Lidar navigation sensor (on top) which is a newer product for machine vision. It uses lasers to judge objects and distances, many, many lasers to gather active data about the road. This car highlights several of the “drive by wire” products marketed by Pixmotion. Pixmotion is promoting open source coding for Automated Vehicles and has it’s own line of hardware that they are seeking to install, not only on cars, but many kinds of vehicles, from freight moving trucks to coffee serving robots on wheels.
Other Things at the Big Data Conference
The Exhibition Hall was open from the 26th to the 29th and there were also classes and presentations on the 25th. This conference was similar to prior conferences in that special tickets allowing more access were available. One impressive presentation was about the use of Big Data to expedite the permitting process for businesses. Rather than using staff time and a complex permitting process for each department, more departments are being merged and application forms are being populated by the government’s Big Data database. This eliminates fees and long waiting periods while applications are processed. If your registration with the government is in order, you get your permit — quickly. This kind of cost cutting and convenience to citizens is a big deal.
The exhibits seemed less expansive than in the past, with a bit of a push from a few vendors expanding presence. Of course Pixmoving was the biggest. Google and Facebook were also well represented, along with many of the other big names. Smart City software, mapping software, and health care were big. Of course virtual reality and the “whole body” virtual world devices were present as well. Here are some sample photos.
It was fun talking to vendors with various levels of English. It was fairly simple to stop and talk, especially with people that are working on their English skills. Alex Lau of Sefonsoft was very kind to me . . .AlexLau