Renesas Electronics has launched a Failure Detection e-AI Solution for motor-equipped home appliances using the Renesas RX66T 32-bit microcontroller (MCU).
The embedded AI (e-AI) enables failure detection of home appliances -- such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines -- due to motor abnormality. Data on the motor’s current or rotation rate status can be used directly for abnormality detection, making it possible to implement both motor control and e-AI–based abnormality detection with a single microcontroller. Using the RX66T eliminates the need for additional sensors, thereby reducing a customer’s bill of materials (BOM) cost.
The Renesas Failure Detection e-AI Solution for motor-equipped home appliances can control up to four motors because it utilizes the high-performance RX66T MCU. Today’s washing machines typically incorporate three motors: One to rotate the washing tub, one to drive the water circulation pump, and one to drive the drying fan. The Renesas Failure Detection e-AI Solution can therefore be used to control these three motors with a single RX66T chip while at the same time monitoring all three motors for faults.
The new solution uses the Renesas Motor Control Evaluation System and an RX66T CPU card. This hardware is combined with a set of sample program files that run on the RX66T MCU as well as a GUI tool that enables collecting and analyzing property data indicating motor states. In order to detect faults, it is necessary to learn the characteristics of the normal state. Using the GUI tool, system engineers can immediately begin developing AI learning and optimized fault detection functionality. Once the AI models are developed, the e-AI development environment (composed of an e-AI Translator, e-AI Checker, and e-AI Importer) can be easily used to import the learned AI models into the RX66T.
“Leveraging its extensive expertise in developing solutions for use in home appliances, Renesas has now developed a solution capable of detecting failures that affect the system based on detecting abnormal motor operation,” said Toru Moriya, Vice President of Home Business Division, Industrial Solutions Business Unit, at Renesas. “Even in cases where a fault occurs in the motor itself, it can be difficult to localize the source to determine whether there is an abnormality in the motor or in the inverter circuit. The new solution makes it possible to identify the fault location quickly, which has the potential to dramatically decrease the maintenance burden for customers.”
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