news    views    talk    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     crowdfunding     archives     events

Industrial Automation

File 20170830 24267 1w1z0fj

Future robots will work side by side with humans, just as they do today.
Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

by Thomas Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management and Lee Dyer, Cornell University

The technologies driving artificial intelligence are expanding exponentially, leading many technology experts and futurists to predict machines will soon be doing many of the jobs that humans do today. Some even predict humans could lose control over their future.

by   -   August 30, 2017

China has rapidly become a global leader in robotics and automation. 2016 annual sales of industrial robots reached the highest level ever for any single country: 87,000 units (up 27% from 2015) and China’s stock of industrial robots is now, at 340,000 units, also the highest total in the world. while Chinese robot manufacturers increased their market share to 31% (up 120% from 2015).

Last week I was talking to one lead engineer of a Singapore company which is building a benchmarking system for robot solutions. Having seen my presentation at ROSCON2016 about robot benchmarking, he asked me how I would benchmark solutions that are non-ROS compatible. I said that I wouldn’t dedicate time to benchmark solutions that are not ROS-based. Instead, I suggested I would use the time to polish the ROS-based benchmarking and suggest that vendors adopt that middleware in their products.

Robot butchers, cake decorator and pizza-baking manipulators. Here are our six favorite robot applications which are changing the food industry.

Instead of worrying so much about robots taking away jobs, maybe we should worry more about wages being too low for robots to even get a chance. Seasonal labor for harvesting agricultural products, particularly fruits and vegetables, is dependent on human labor from a diminishing universe of willing workers.


Sixteen teams from across the globe came to Nagoya, Japan to participate in the third annual Amazon Robotics Challenge. Amazon sponsors the event to strengthen ties between the industrial and academic robotics communities and to promote shared and open solutions to some of the big puzzles in the field. The teams took home $270,000 in prizes.

by   -   July 27, 2017


The Cocktail Bot 4.0 consists of five robots with one high-level goal: Mix one more than 20 possible drink combination for you! But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. After the customer composed his drink by combining liquor, soft drink and ice in a web interface. The robots start to mix the drink on their own. Five robot stations are preparing the order to deliver it to the guests.

By Jeff Morgan, Trinity College Dublin

Robots have been taking our jobs since the 1960s. So why are politicians and business leaders only now becoming so worried about robots causing mass unemployment?

The Weekly Drone Roundup is a newsletter from the Center for the Study of the Drone. It covers news, commentary, analysis and technology from the drone world.

This week features HEPHAESTUS: Highly automatEd PHysical Achievements and performancES using cable roboTs Unique SysHighly automatEd PHysical Achievements and performancES using cable roboTs Unique Systemstems.

Emily – short for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard – is a remote-controlled rescue boat used by lifeguards to save people’s life at sea (Photo: Hydrolanix – EMILY robot)

This article was first published on the IEC e-tech website.

Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing the roles of aerial, terrestrial and maritime robotic systems in disaster relief, search and rescue (SAR) and salvage operations. Robots and drones can be deployed quickly in areas deemed too unsafe for humans and are used to guide rescuers, collect data, deliver essential supplies or provide communication services.

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) cites that between 2010 and 2016, 136,748 robots were shipped to the US —the most in any seven-year period in the US robotics industry. At the same time, US manufacturing employment increased by 894,000 and the unemployment rate fell from 9.8% to 4.7%.

I’ve written a few times that perhaps the biggest unsolved problem in robocars is how to know we have made them safe enough. While most people think of that in terms of government certification, the truth is that the teams building the cars are very focused on this, and know more about it than any regulator, but they still don’t know enough. The challenge is going to be convincing your board of directors that the car is safe enough to release, for if it is not, it could ruin the company that releases it, at least if it’s a big company with a reputation.

interview by   -   June 24, 2017

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Sergey Levine, assistant professor at UC Berkeley, about deep learning on robotics. Levine explains what deep learning is and he discusses the challenges of using deep learning in robotics. Lastly, Levine speaks about his collaboration with Google and some of the surprising behavior that emerged from his deep learning approach (how the system grasps soft objects).

In addition to the main interview, Audrow interviewed Levine about his professional path. They spoke about what questions motivate him, why his PhD experience was different to what he had expected, the value of self-directed learning,  work-life balance, and what he wishes he’d known in graduate school.

Advances in robotics and AI have led to modern commercial drone technology, which is changing the fundamental way enterprises interact with the world. Drones bridge the physical and digital worlds. They enable companies to combine the power of scalable computing resources with pervasive, affordable sensors that can go anywhere. This creates an environment in which businesses can make quick, accurate decisions based on enormous datasets derived from the physical world.



Disney Robotics
September 17, 2017


Are you planning to crowdfund your robot startup?

Need help spreading the word?

Join the Robohub crowdfunding page and increase the visibility of your campaign