A student of a technology institute in Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, has started a venture company to develop an inspection system for overhead power lines using artificial intelligence. 

MitoyoAI Development Co. was launched on Aug. 19 with the support of University of Tokyo professor Yutaka Matsuo, a leading figure in AI research in Japan, and MAiZM, a satellite research laboratory of the professor and the base of AI research in Kagawa’s Mitoyo. 

The company, headquartered within MAiZM, was founded by Taiga Takechi, a first-year advanced course student at the National Institute of Technology, Kagawa College's Takuma campus.  

The inspection system developed by Takechi uses AI to analyze the external appearance of power lines in videos taken by a robot, allowing users to promptly detect any damage missed by the human eye. 

Takechi aims to offer the system, after carrying out demonstration tests over the course of a year, to electric power supply and power line construction companies both in Japan and overseas. 

"I want to try my hand at solving various issues faced by regional areas through AI. I hope to be an example for other students from my school aspiring to start their own company," he said. 

During an online press conference, Matsuo praised the ambitious student. "(Takechi) is a strong-willed student with high technical ability. I hope he finds success soon, and there is a good chance of that. I intend to continue assisting him moving forward," he said. 

Akishi Yamashita, mayor of Mitoyo and representative director of MAiZM, also offered his support, saying, "The role of MAiZM is to produce talent in the field of AI. I am glad to see a startup from Mitoyo." 

MitoyoAI Development marks the second venture company to come out of the institute. Last December, another student launched Panda Co. to develop a system to detect aggressive driving using AI. 

  The Shikoku Shimbun

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