Matt Bilsky, founder and CEO of FLX Solutions, discusses the snake-like robot he invented called the FLX BOT. The FLX BOT consists of modular links, each with a joint that can extend and rotate to get into tight spaces. Each link includes sensors including inertial measurement units and a camera. The robot is used to navigate and work in challenging environments, such as above ceilings and within walls. Matt discusses the key innovations of his product as well as his academic and entrepreneurial journey that led him to the FLX BOT.
Since programming is an extremely time-consuming business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are often forced to manage without robots. Researchers from Fraunhofer IPA have therefore developed the software RobotKit specially for welding tasks. In an initial test scenario, the kit reduced programming times from 90 down to just 7 minutes.
It all started with 166 companies spread across 12 European countries appling for a “golden ticket” to ROBOTT-NET’s Voucher Program. 64 companies received a voucher and highly specialized consultancy from a broad range of the brightest robotics experts around Europe. Now five of the 64 projects have been selected for a ROBOTT-NET pilot.
America’s retailers are closing stores faster than ever while demand for warehouse workers by online retailers is higher than ever. Retailers and logistics companies have been opening facilities at a record pace and in this fast-paced world, warehousing and logistics managers are looking for robotics solutions to remain competitive.
Six to ten years ago, exhibitors at Automate were promoting bin-picking in many, many booths. Bin picking wasn’t mentioned this year because it is an available option these days. For the last six years vendors have been promoting human-robot collaboration in manufacturing. Here’s what I saw this year at the big Automate and ProMat trade shows held last month in Chicago.
The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is part of a consortium which has received a £4.6 million grant to build a new generation of robots for use in nuclear sites. The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will help develop smaller robotics technologies that will be able to operate autonomously and effectively in hazardous environments.
Housebuilders and makers of car parts in a few decades time may need nothing more than a large robotic arm, some raw ingredients and a programmable design, thanks to the next-generation of 3D printing machines which are opening up the technique to large-scale industry.
Ocado, the world’s largest online-only supermarket, has been evaluating the feasibility of robotic picking and packing of shopping orders in its highly-automated warehouses through the SoMa project, a Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation funded by the European Union.