• With this system, the machines will be able to adapt to the environment, predict errors and act on them without human intervention.
  • The technology centre, a leader in artificial intelligence solutions applied to the needs of the Basque industry, promoted and led the European project, which has a budget of 15.7 million euros for three years, financed by the European Commission and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
  • IKERLAN presented the project at EFECS 2020, the leading European forum for electronic components and systems.

FRACTAL is a pioneering European project, promoted and led by IKERLAN, which aims to create a digitalisation solution based on artificial intelligence, so that machines are capable of 'self-diagnosis', adapting to the environment, predicting errors and resolving them before they occur. To this end, it will develop a hardware and software solution, which will equip machines with intelligence and cognitive abilities, applicable in sectors such as energy, transport and industry. IKERLAN presented this project at the leading European forum, EFECS 2020, European Forum for Electronic Components and Systems.

This solution offers a wide range of application possibilities. It combines four of the technologies that are a priority focus for research in the European Union, namely: edge computing (which consists of bringing data processing as close as possible to where it is being generated, moving such processing from the cloud to the end devices); big data; 5G; and artificial intelligence. FRACTAL will, for example, allow physical devices in a production plant to communicate with one another and be able to share data between them so that they can work together to solve problems that may arise in the plant, without the need for human intervention. It will also make it possible to detect obstacles so as to avoid collisions in industrial environments, as well as allowing self-propelled urban trains to make precision stops and estimate the presence of other vehicles and people. It will even improve safety on civil engineering sites by overseeing the infrastructures with drones that identify any possible risks in real time. Once the development phase is completed, FRACTAL will be installed in various international companies, such as CAF, among others.

“In short, we will develop a system where the machine is able to learn from its environment and adapt to changes”, explains Aizea Lojo, researcher in IKERLAN's Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence team and overall coordinator of the project. In addition, FRACTAL is supported by IKERLAN's teams of experts in industrial safety, reliable hardware and software design, artificial intelligence, IoT and communications.

Aizea Lojo adds that FRACTAL, in line with the positioning of the technology centre, is geared towards solving real industry needs: “Nowadays, companies in our field are capable of collecting and storing the data generated in their companies, but they encounter difficulties in the phase of extracting knowledge and value from the stored data. Today, one of the biggest challenges is to implement artificial intelligence models and bring them into the production process. This is where FRACTAL will help companies by providing a solution that will not only help in collecting the necessary data, but will also be capable of running the artificial intelligence on the devices themselves (whether they are machines, trains, autonomous vehicles, etc.)”.

In order for FRACTAL to fulfil its purpose, it will have to meet stringent requirements in terms of industrial security, energy efficiency and computing capabilities.
The artificial intelligence algorithms and the communication through 5G require a high computing capacity that will provide the new system with the necessary learning and adaptability. These requirements can be met because of the high specialisation of the consortium, as well as the development and application of the technologies developed by the technology centre within the IKERLAN Konnekt family of digitalisation solutions.

FRACTAL has a budget of 15.7 million euros for three years, provided by the European Commission and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism via the ECSEL programme. IKERLAN, a technological centre that is a leader in artificial intelligence solutions applied to the needs of Basque industry, promoted and leads this project, in which a total of 28 organisations from seven European countries (Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Austria and Italy) participate, including companies, universities and technological centres that are leaders in the field of digitalisation and artificial intelligence.
These include state companies such as ZYLK, LKS, CAF Signaling, Prointec, Solver, BSC and the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

About IKERLAN

IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to the company due, among other things, to the specialisation of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions that combine different technological fields into three large areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT), Energy and Power Electronics and Advanced Manufacturing. IKERLAN has been certified via AENOR for its integrated management system  (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 y UNE 166002:2014), which recognises the excellence of the centre in the field of R&D&I. It currently has a workforce of around 375 people.

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FRACTAL is a pioneering project based on artificial intelligence, capable of endowing machines with intelligence and cognitive abilities, in sectors such as energy, transport and industry
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