Panasonic AI | Panasonic Research and Development on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Developing robots and systems for innovative lifestyles and business
with people-friendly AI technology

Panasonic is researching and developing real-world AI technology
that can be used in everyday devices and systems.

R&D Vision

Creating innovation for living spaces, vehicles, and offices
through artificial intelligence technology to realize "A Better Life, A Better World".

"A Better Life, A Better World" is Panasonic's corporate slogan.
By bringing together artificial intelligence technology with Panasonic's main business areas - appliances, housing, automotive and B2B solutions - we are delivering innovative products and services to solve issues people face in everyday life. Our ongoing challenge is to realize "A Better Life, A Better World".

Conceptal diagram of the Panasonic research and development vision

Research Areas

Creating lifestyles with greater safety and less strain

Application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology are steadily expanding in the real world. A major factor of this expansion is the advancement of algorithms as well as improvement of computing power and dramatic growth in the amount of data that can be used. Especially in the connected internet world, a variety of practical application is being advanced. In the future, AI technology is increasingly applied to realistic human behavior in daily life and business setting in order to create lifestyle with greater safety and less strain.

Panasonic is aiming to assist people in daily life and business activities by using technology achievements such as machine learning and natural language processing in artificial intelligence field with Panasonic's accumulated AV processing technology and various sensors and actuators.

Conceptal diagram of the Panasonic research areas

Main Research and Technology Areas

Panasonic is working on R&D on artificial intelligence technology that can be applicable in practical equipment and systems in real environment. In addition, we are developing unconventional cutting-edge technologies in order to create next generation products and services.

Image and Spatial Recognition

In recent years, with progress of deep learning, there is an increasing expectation for image-based object detection technology. We work on Deep Learning related technologies such as learning methods and volume reduction in computing.
We are contributing to realization of a safe and efficient self-driving mobile society through development of Full-Neural Detector technology combining with Panasonic's strength in sensor devices. It enables to establish technologies for detecting dangerous situations and avoiding risks of collision accidents as well as comfort control on vehicle. For example it can detect and avoid pedestrian suddenly running in front of car or car crashes.

Interaction

We are aiming to offer more efficient intellectual job supports through interaction between people and machine. With the recent increase in visitors to Japan, Panasonic is working on R&D on machine translation technology in order to convey Japanese high quality hospitality in other languages. As one of research themes, we are developing automatic corpus generation technology to efficiently build up the necessary language data. By combining it with Panasonic's strength in noise elimination technology, we are developing optimal interpretation devices for customer services in stores and hotels as well as guidance to visitors at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. We will expand speech translation solutions in the real world.

Robotics Control

To reduce the burden of elder care and to help seniors live independently on an aging society with fewer children, we are developing robots to assist seniors when moving from a bed to a wheelchair, and then helping them get to and sit on the toilet. At the same time we are developing unique flexible robot arms to assist seniors to move naturally utilizing their own muscle strength. Panasonic continues the development of intelligent robots that can operate cleverly and flexibly in people's lives incorporating human or sophisticated biological intelligence as well as physical devices into robotics.

R&D Structure and Sites

Panasonic is conducting R&D on artificial intelligence at three sites in Japan, and two overseas.

Map of Japan showing the Head Office district and Keihanna site

Photo of the Head Office district building

Photo of the Keihanna site

Photo of the Panasonic Laboratory Tokyo building

World map showing overseas sites: Panasonic Laboratory Tokyo, Panasonic R&D Center Singapore, and Panasonic Silicon Valley Lab

Photo of the Panasonic R&D Center Singapore building

Photo of the Panasonic Silicon Valley Lab building

Head Office district

In addition to the Advanced Research Division under the head office, the technology departments from four internal companies are gathered in this largest R&D site in Panasonic. It promotes R&D on artificial technologies combining with a broad range of products and devices in Panasonic's main business areas.

Keihanna site

As one of the core institutions of Kansai Science City, the Keihanna site has been operating as a research location for intelligent information processing since April 1994, when the organization relocated from Panasonic's former Central Research Laboratory.
The site is focusing on the study of AI and robotics principles as well as applications development in order to assist the intellectual and physical activities of humans.

Panasonic Laboratory Tokyo

This site was opened in Tokyo's Ariake district in April 2016. Engineers from the field of AI, IoT, robotics, and sensing work together to accelerate new R&D themes through internal and external collaborations.
In addition, based on the concept of “HITO-TECHS”(human-centered research), the laboratory conducts the study of interactions between machines and human in business process.

Panasonic R&D Center Singapore

Since its establishment in 1990, the site has accumulated technologies as an AV signal processing research laboratory.
Today, it becomes an R&D center consisting of Panasonic's top-level engineering teams to promote algorithm developments for a wide range of themes as well as system implementation and performance optimization.

Panasonic Silicon Valley Lab

Established in 2011. Collaborating with academic laboratories of advanced researches in North America, venture companies, and communities, it works on acquisition and researches of cutting-edge AI technologies. In recent years, it is developing real-time pedestrian detection algorithm with high recognition rate and lower volume of computing for vehicle use.
The new technologies have been introduced at ITS World Congress 2015 and other academic conferences.

External Collaborations

Through collaborations with academic research laboratories, venture companies and communities in Silicon Valley, Panasonic is conducting acquisition and researches of cutting-edge AI technologies.

Main partners
(as of May 2016) alphabetical order

  • Non-Japanese universities

    National University of Singapore, Stanford University,University of California Berkeley/Merced, University of Montreal

  • Japanese universities

    Chubu University, Future University Hakodate, Hokkaido University, Kyoto University, Kyushu University, Nagoya University, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Osaka University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tohoku University, University of Fukui, University of Tokyo, Waseda University

  • Consortiums

    Whole Brain Architecture Initiative

  • Hospitals

    Matsushita Memorial Hospital

  • Public research organizations

    National Institute of Informatics, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)

  • Other

    Yamaguchi Medical Imaging Research Center

History

Creating lifestyles with greater safety and less strain

The origin of Panasonic's artificial intelligence research dates back to the 5th Generation Computer project in 1980s.

After temporary withdrawal from large-scale computer business in 1964 during the Matsushita Electric era, there was an opportunity to re-enter the computer field through participation in the Fifth Generation Computer project led by Japanese government. Panasonic was aiming to become a human electronics company that can support people and lifestyles through intelligent computer technology. In order to utilize Panasonic's strength in audio-visual technology, the company focused on technology for analyzing images and natural language, and promoted basic research in the fields of image object recognition, dialogue systems for creating English contract documents, machine translation, document summarization, and expert systems.

Meanwhile, appliances equipped with microcomputers had been advanced and Panasonic started R&D on digital control algorithms. As a result, many neuro-fuzzy appliances were created in 1990s such as rice cockers that can cook rice even more deliciously, air conditioners and funs that generate a pleasant breeze, and washing machines that can detect dirt on laundries. The origin of intelligent control technology installed in actual products was established at this time.

In the 2000s, digitalization of appliances was further accelerated, and Panasonic differentiated itself from other companies by promoting the development of products that are even more applicable to people. This includes a TV function that recommends programs based on the owner's viewing history and preferences, image processing technology to make video images even more beautiful, and products with biological sensing technology to detect brain waves and muscle strength. While also incorporating the concept of universal design, Panasonic has been promoting basic research on robots that assist and interact with people.

In the future, the company aims to create new value in the form of lifestyle and business innovation, by undertaking R&D activities relating to artificial intelligence that can be applied to systems and equipment for practical use.

History of Panasonic's Artificial Intelligence Research

Main Panasonic artificial intelligence research activities from 1979 to 2008