Croatia’s remarkable Gideon is now cooperating with the US AI chip giant NVIDIA (updated)

(Editor’s note: This post on Gideon robotics is part of our Tech Tuesday series. Dispatches covers tech because so many of our highly skilled internationals are engineers and designers.)

There are plenty of rather jaw dropping tech and IT stories coming out of Croatia, but by far the most impressive (at least in my opinion) is the story woven by Gideon from Osijek. More miraculous yet is the fact that a company, which draws its roots from the relatively internationally unheard of eastern Croatian city of Osijek, is now cooperating with the Silicon Valley-based AI chipmaker/software giant NVIDIA. In just 12 hours since we posted this, NVIDIA became the most valuable American company ranked by market capitalization, up from No. 3.

Zoran Vitas at Croatia’s Business Diary reports that the Croatian company engaged in the development and production of autonomous mobile robots aims to accelerate the automation of supply chains with AI’s help. This will be done through their cooperation with the leading company for the development of chips and other such systems – NVIDIA.

NVIDIA makes the world’s most advanced graphics processing units essential to artificial intelligence, and this partnership is meant to automate a crucial part of the material handling and shipping process.

Across the pond in the United States, more than $150 billion is spent annually on loading and unloading trailers. Yet, this is still an industry relatively untouched by automation in the broad sense one might expect in this day and age.

That’s where Gideon comes into it, as NVIDUA’s platforms will be used on TREY, the Croatian-made autonomous forklift that uses artificial intelligence to do its job.

Enabling industrial robots to learn

Gideon, which has its headquarters in its hometown of Osijek (as well as Dover, Delaware), will now be using NVIDIA’s Isaac system. Isaac is a platform that combines synthetic data generation, simulation, supported learning, perception and testing. In short, it is an all-encompassing solution which integrates tools for perception, motion planning, system and integration, basic models that are key to the development of AI-enhanced automation.

Designing, testing and training autonomous industrial robots that use AI is easier and smoother with the use of Isaac. Croatia’s Gideon will also use Isaac Perceptor, which is a set of hardware solutions for visual AI intended specifically for autonomous mobile robots, which are tailored for perceiving, localising and controlling robots in dynamic environments such as warehouses and fulfillment centers.

“Gideon’s collaboration with NVIDIA will help address the very complex, still unsolved challenges of automation and robotics in the supply chain. This will be done with the combining of Gideon’s AI-powered AMR technology with NVIDIA’s accelerated data processing,” saidJosip Ćesić, Gideon’s CEO.

By integrating this system into arduous loading and unloading processes, supply chain operations are simplified and become more efficient. AI and 3D visualisation are cited as key technologies in the development of Gideon’s TREY, through which the forklift truck interprets its environment in 3D through the use of semantics and geometry, significantly contributing to safety in dynamic environments.

Shaking things up

“Autonomous mobile robotic solutions have the potential to advance supply chains, warehousing and logistics,” said Deepu Talla, vice president of robotics and Edge AI at NVIDIA, in a company statement. “The integration of NVIDIA’s Isaac Perceptor modular libraries and AI models into Gideon’s technology systems will help accelerate the application of AI across the logistics sector,” added Talla.

TREY itself was first presented two years ago as a solution for the autonomous loading and unloading of pallets, saving about 80 percent of the working time of employees who would otherwise be engaged in such tasks.

NVIDIA’s recent announcement reveals that Osijek’s Gideon is now very firmly in the ranks of global leaders in this and similar fields. When it comes to the aforementioned Isaac Perceptor, Gideon is specifically mentioned as one of the companies developing advanced autonomous mobile robots.

It’s not enough to say that this is an absolutely incredible feat for Croatia – the little country that not only could, but that just keeps on impressing on the global stage in a tech sector few would ever have predicted.


Read more about Croatia here in Dispatches’ archives.

See more from Lauren here.

Lauren Simmonds

Lauren Simmonds is the editor of Total Croatia News, the largest English language portal in Croatia. She lives in Zagreb, Croatia, and is a translator, content writer, interpreter and the co-author of "Croatia - A Survival Kit for Foreigners," which was published in 2022.

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