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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

New Tech Tuesdays: Agent-Based AI: Rabbit r1 and the Power of LAMs Rudy Ramos

New Tech Tuesdays

Join Rudy Ramos for a weekly look at all things interesting, new, and noteworthy for design engineers.

One of the weirdest tech gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES 2024) was from a little-known startup named rabbit™. The rabbit r1 is a handheld device the size of new foldable smartphones that are all the rage now but with a blend of old and new tech.

This week, we explore what makes the rabbit r1 different from the throngs of other smart tech gadgets, including our smartphones and smart voice assistants.

What Is the rabbit r1?

I will start by telling you what the rabbit r1 is not. The r1 is neither a smartphone nor a voice assistant akin to smart speakers with Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, or Siri functionality. It is also not a wearable device like a smartwatch or small tablet.  

While there might be a bit of crossover with these other devices, the r1 represents a paradigm shift from app-based mobile devices that cannot get things done without the user fumbling through apps, permissions, and logins.

Instead, the rabbit r1 is a retro-looking device that measures 78mm × 78mm × 13mm (3in × 3in × 0.5in), making it much smaller—and thus more portable—than your typical flagship smartphone. The r1’s hardware includes a touchscreen, 360-degree rotational camera (dubbed the rabbit eye), speaker, microphones, analog scroll wheel, and a USB-C and SIM card slot for 4G connectivity, plus Bluetooth® 5.0 / Wi-Fi® with 2.4GHz + 5GHz. Ah, there is one other thing: This gadget has only a push-to-talk button with functionality similar to that of walkie talkies (adding to its retro feel).

What Makes the r1 Different?

The r1 stands apart from other devices due to its clever way of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) with large language models (LLMs) to make them “trigger” results from human-machine interactions using voice, text, or images.

The rabbit r1 aims to eliminate many of the arduous processes we deal with when coordinating multiple apps. Instead, all you do is push one button on the r1 and tell it what you want it to do.

How Does the r1 Do It?

rabbit’s approach was to create a simple and intuitive computer that breaks away from the traditional app-based operating systems of current mobile devices. Instead, the r1 shifts to a natural language-centered approach in a device that listens, understands, and, most importantly, gets things done for the user.

The rabbit r1 innovates the human-machine interface (HMI) by merging the functionality of voice assistants with the AI power of LLMs like ChatGPT, pooled into an agent-based AI system that can perform tasks accurately and swiftly across various interfaces and platforms.

The resulting solution is a large action model (LAM) that helps bridge the gap between precisely understanding the user and completing the required task. Additionally, the LAM in the r1 is capable of machine vision and can be taught to learn more complex workflows to cater to the user’s needs.

The Newest Products for Your Newest Designs®

This week’s New Tech Tuesday showcases products from Texas Instruments and Infineon Technologies that represent the latest solutions for AI-driven applications.

The Texas Instruments AM68Ax 64-Bit Jacinto 8 TOPS Vision SoC Processor is a cutting-edge solution designed for advanced AI and machine vision applications. With its impressive processing power of 8 trillion operations per second (TOPS), the AM68x offers unparalleled performance for tasks requiring real-time data analysis and decision-making.

This powerful processor enables one to eight cameras in applications like machine vision and smart traffic systems, making it versatile for a wide range of scenarios. Its capabilities extend to retail automation and advanced video analytics, facilitating tasks like object recognition, tracking, and anomaly detection.

The AM68Ax's image signal processor (ISP) supports up to 480MP/s, ensuring exceptional image quality and accuracy. Whether enhancing security surveillance or optimizing industrial processes, this SoC processor is scalable and empowers AI and machine vision systems to operate efficiently and intelligently, driving innovation in various industries.

The Infineon Technologies PSoC™ 4000T Arm® Cortex®-M0+ Microcontrollers offer another exceptional solution for design engineers working on AI or machine vision applications. These microcontrollers are characterized by their ultra-low power consumption and 10x higher signal-to-noise ratio performance, making them ideal for energy-efficient and precise data processing.

Design engineers can leverage the PSoC 4000T's advanced capabilities, including the fifth-generation CAPSENSE™ technology, to create intelligent systems that require reliable touch and proximity sensing.

Furthermore, the Cortex-M0+ core provides the necessary processing power for real-time data analysis, enabling efficient decision-making in machine vision applications. With programmable mixed-signal hardware IP and industry-leading CAPSENSE, these microcontrollers can be customized to suit specific AI or machine vision requirements, ensuring design flexibility and adaptability.

Tuesday’s Takeaway

The new rabbit r1 AI-powered pocket companion isn't meant to replace smartphones but to complement them. Its emergence reflects a significant change in the app-based operating system paradigm, underscoring the evolving role of AI in consumer technology. While rabbit's future is speculative, the r1's introduction marks a notable point in the ongoing evolution of personal tech gadgets.

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Rudy RamosRudy is a member of the Technical Content Marketing team at Mouser Electronics, bringing 35+ years of expertise in advanced electromechanical systems, robotics, pneumatics, vacuum systems, high voltage, semiconductor manufacturing, military hardware, and project management. As a technology subject matter expert, Rudy supports global marketing efforts through his extensive product knowledge and by creating and editing technical content for Mouser's website. Rudy has authored technical articles appearing in engineering websites and holds a BS in Technical Management and an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. Prior to Mouser, Rudy worked for National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.

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