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Industrial Automation

by   -   February 3, 2017
Cows in stable wait for food from red feeding robot

Let’s assume, for a moment, that the vision I’ve laid out in this blog is ridiculously successful, and, over the next few decades, robotic devices take over all aspects of tending land and crops and handling material inputs and produce, and do it using increasingly sustainable practices that begin the process of retaining and enhancing biological diversity and reviving overworked soils. What’s left for farmers to do? Will there even be a need for humans on farms?

With machine intelligence emerging as an essential tool in many aspects of modern life, Alan Winfield discusses autonomous sytems, safety and regulation.

interview by   -   January 21, 2017

totus_cube

In this episode, Ron Vanderkley spoke to Dr Moritz Tenorth, head of software development at Magazino, a Munich-based startup developing mobile pick-and-place robots for item-specific logistics. They discussed his work on the Toru robot and what it means to the warehouse industry today and in the future.

Thosha Moodley visits Decos’ futuristic development lab and is greeted by a familiar face: Softbank’s Pepper robot, newly employed as a receptionist.

Image: Clearpath
Image: Clearpath

Sriram Narasimhan’s research team are shaking things up in the Civil Engineering Structures Lab at the University of Waterloo. The research, which is led by Ph.D Candidate Kevin Goorts, is developing a new mobile damping system for suppressing unwanted vibrations in lightweight, flexible bridges. Whereas damping systems are often permanent fixtures built into the bridge, their system is designed to be adaptable, autonomous, and better suited for rapid, temporary deployment.

car-wash

We tend to assume that automation is a process that continues – that once some human activity has been automated there’s no going back. That automation sticks. But, as Paul Mason pointed out in a recent column that assumption is wrong.

Credit: "Brewing Beer with Robots" Brew Age/YouTube
Credit: “Brewing Beer with Robots” Brew Age/YouTube

What tasks in a craft brewery can you do with a collaborative robot? Here are five options to improve the efficiency, consistency and safety of manufacturing in the beverage industry.

interview by   -   December 11, 2016

smac_robotic_finger_smaller

In this episode, Abate De Mey interviews Edward Neff, founder of SMAC Corporation. Mr. Neff discusses how breakthroughs in his company have allowed them to develop linear actuators compact enough to be used to actuate robotic fingers. Companies like Apple and Samsung push for the development of robotic fingers to perform lifelike tests on their phones.

Credit: "Brewing Beer with Robots" Brew Age/YouTube
Credit: “Brewing Beer with Robots” Brew Age/YouTube

Craft brewing could be the perfect industry for collaborative robots. But, does automation mean losing your artisan status? We find how craft breweries can use robotics to scale-up their business without compromising on quality.

by   -   October 19, 2016

Algorithms are prone to errors, biases and predictable malfunctions, writes Frank Pasquale.

From factory floors to doorstep delivery, this is how logistics systems are beginning to power themselves.

Courtesy: Softwear Automation
Courtesy: Softwear Automation

National Public Radio (NPR) has published a series of stories about robots and the future of employment in the U.S. and abroad. It begins with the story about the Luddites war on industry and a more recent podcast about the sewing robot DARPA has contracted to research for the production of U.S. military garments.

Pokeball and Robotiq. Source: Robotiq
Pokeball and Robotiq. Source: Robotiq

You may be reloading this page trying to figure out if the title of this blog post got mixed up with something else. No, you read it correctly, I am going to outline similarities between Industry 4.0 and Pokémon Go.

First off, if you aren’t familiar with the term Industry 4.0, or if you weren’t born after 1990 and you don’t know what a Pokémon is, fear not: a crash course in both subjects is coming up.

Bot & Dolly. Source: Box/YouTube
Bot & Dolly. Source: Box/YouTube

Do you ever wonder what happens to those faithful working industrial robots when they retire? Whether they are stored in a closet, used for new manufacturing cells or turned into art, every robot has a life after the assembly line. Bot & Dolly made an interesting, and now famous use of repurposed robotic arms that will leave you in awe of both the creative faculties of the mind and the incredible undiscovered power behind industrial robots. Reaching new parameters with recycled parts repurposed and remade, the now filmmaking robots, Iris and Scout, are the technology that made Bot & Dolly desirable in the eyes of Google’s robotics project. Acquired in 2013 by Google X, the story of two men and a creative vision for robotics will leave you in awe.

Image: Messe München International
Image: Messe München International

Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution – was the main theme at the largest robot and automation fair in the world, Germany’s AUTOMATICA, which took place in Munich throughout the last week of June. But what exactly is Industry 4.0 and how do developers and manufacturers big and small believe it will revolutionise production?

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