Bluefruit Software has been awarded £100k funding from AeroSpace Cornwall for research and development into ‘edge AI’.

Edge AI is artificial intelligence-driven computing on embedded systems and the growth potential in the UK is said to be immense.

It’s estimated that 750 million edge AI chips will have been sold this year, and the technology is forecast to expand by 20% over the next five years.

Set to revolutionise heavily regulated sectors like medical and aerospace, edge AI works by helping machines make “intelligent decisions” and provide critical feedback whilst keeping the data on board a local device. This means systems can still run despite restricted connectivity and without data centre costs. It also limits safety, data privacy and security concerns.

Bluefruit director Caitlin Gould said: “We believe using AI in this way, built into equipment, can make the entire device or machine more intelligent, more effective, and possibly safer for end users.

“For the companies we talk to, these are business-changing conversations. They would have the ability to have products that could predict faults before they become a catastrophic failure. This creates not only a better machine; it saves the company huge amounts in maintenance and diagnostics costs.

“We genuinely believe the application of edge AI in places where AI isn’t at the minute – places without the Internet even – will enable it to change our daily lives; that is why we are so keen to explore and develop this technology.”

Gail Eastaugh, director at AeroSpace Cornwall, added: “This incredible project taps into the market potential of edge AI, unlocking the innovation it can bring to the space and aerospace industry supply chains, particularly in the south west. We are excited to see Bluefruit’s AI capabilities grow, and their offering scale within this sector and beyond.”