Vision-guided Collaborative Robots Deliver Fast Return on Investment in Production of Firehose Valves
From Next Big Future: In 2011, Foxconn had announced a plan to replace 500,000 mainland Chinese workers with 1 million robots over the next 3-5 years.
Foxconn is the company that builds Apple's iPhone and iPad hardware and many of the android smartphones as well.
Foxconn, has so far installed 40,000 production robots across China as it looks to minimize the number of people it employs.
With the exception of some components like servo motors and speed reducers, the robots are being built entirely in-house, Foxconn's Dai Chia-peng told Taiwan's Central News Agency, as quoted by DigiTimes. It's unclear how many of the so-called "Foxbots" are being used to manufacture Apple products.
The machines are, however, said to be operating an industrial facility in Zhengzhou, a tablet plant in Chengdu, and computer/peripherals plants in Kunshan and Jiashan. Cont'd...
Jeff Engel for Xconomy: China emerged as a manufacturing powerhouse over the past few decades, thanks in large part to a deep pool of cheap labor. Now, the country is investing heavily in factory automation, and Boston-area robotics companies and their allies smell opportunity.
Executives from 11 New England robotics firms will travel to several cities in China later this month on a trade mission aimed at sparking business deals and more technology collaboration between the U.S. and China.
The trip is being organized by InTeahouse, along with local nonprofit robotics support group MassRobotics. Cont'd...
Will Knight for MIT Technology Review: The big, dumb, monotonous industrial robots found in many factories could soon be quite a bit smarter, thanks to the introduction of machine-learning skills that are moving out of research labs at a fast pace. Fanuc, one of the world’s largest makers of industrial robots, announced that it will work with Nvidia, a Silicon Valley chipmaker that specializes in artificial intelligence, to add learning capabilities to its products.
The deal is important because it shows how recent advances in AI are poised to overhaul the manufacturing industry. Today’s industrial bots are typically programmed to do a single job very precisely and accurately. But each time a production run changes, the robots then need to be reprogrammed from scratch, which takes time and technical expertise. Cont'd...
Mark Bergen for Bloomberg: Google published research this week detailing how its software enables robots to learn from one another. To demonstrate, the company’s scientists showed videos featuring robotic arms whirling inside its labs.
Google’s robotics group built those machines and wanted to sell them to manufacturers, warehouse operators and others. However, executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc. nixed the plan because it failed Chief Executive Officer Larry Page’s "toothbrush test," a requirement that the company only ship products used daily by billions of people, according to people familiar with the situation. Cont'd...
Cartoners, Case Packers, and Palletizers for Track and Trace Serialization of Pharmaceutical Packaging Lines
Aya Takada for Bloomberg: Jin Kawaguchiya gave up a career in finance to help revive Japan’s ailing dairy industry -- one robot at a time.
In a country that relies increasingly on imported foods like cheese and butter, Japan’s milk output tumbled over two decades, touching a 30-year low in 2014. Costs rose faster than prices as the economy stagnated, eroding profit, and aging farmers quit the business because they couldn’t find enough young people willing to take on the hard labor of tending to cows every day.
But technology is altering that dynamic. On the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan’s top dairy-producing region, Kawaguchiya transformed the 20-cow farm he inherited from his father-in-law 16 years ago into Asia’s largest automated milking factory. Robots extract the white fluid from 360 cows three times a day and make sure the animals are fed and healthy. The machines even gather up poop and deposits it in a furnace that generates electricity. Cont'd...
Sharon Gaudin for ComputerWorld: In just five years, intelligent systems and robots may have taken up to 6% of U.S. jobs, according to Forrester Research in a report released this week.
As artificial intelligence (A.I.) advances to better understand human behavior and make decisions on its own in complicated situations, it will enable smart software and robots to take on increasingly challenging jobs. That means robotics should be able to take over some jobs traditionally held by humans by 2021.
For instance, Forrester predicts that smart systems like autonomous robots, digital assistants, A.I. software and chatbots will take over customer service rep jobs and eventually even serve as truck and taxi drivers. Cont'd...
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