New Software to Coordinate Entire Work Cell

This new software is the first of its kind to connect all of your devices from a single controller, which extends the smart, flexible power of our robots to the entire work cell and provides unparalleled speed to deployment.

Are there enough robots?

Future trends indicate that there will be a concentration on the collaboration of human and machine, simplified applications, and light-weight robots. We will also see an increased focus on modular robots and robotic systems, which will be marketed at exceptionally alluring prices.

The Trends of Customized, Standardized, Modularity and Platform in Robots

Christensen's theory: from integrated approaches to modular approaches

How Dynamic Group Quadrupled Production Capacity with Collaborative Robots

This application produces a medical device with parts that are extremely heat sensitive, so cycle times have to be consistent from part to part.

Raspberry Pi-powered arm: This kit aims to make robotics simple enough for kids

Nick Heath for TechRepublic:  Think it's tricky to build and program a robot arm? Think again.

Powered by the Raspberry Pi, the MeArm Pi is a robot arm designed to be simple enough that kids aged 11+ can build and program it.

The lightweight plastic arm, which can pick up small objects such as Lego bricks, comes as a kit that keeps the number of screws to a minimum and is relatively straightforward to assemble using the included hex keys. It can be controlled via the Pi, either using joysticks attached to the included Pi HAT add-on board or by programming it from the Pi.  Cont'd...

Rethink Robotics Releases Intera 5: A New Approach to Automation

Rethink Robotics announced Intera® 5, a first-of-its-kind software platform that connects everything from a single robot controller, extending the smart, flexible power of Rethink Robotics' Sawyer™ to the entire work cell and simplifying automation with unparalleled ease of deployment. 
Built on the backbone of the industry's best train-by-demonstration software that powers the world's fastest-to-deploy robots, Intera 5 is paving the way for connected manufacturing environments and helping companies build factories of the future. Intera 5 fundamentally changes the need for integration, making it substantially easier and more affordable, allowing manufacturers to deploy full work cell automation in a matter of hours, not weeks. 
Intera 5 is much more than the latest version of Rethink Robotics' software; it's a new way to approach automation that allows manufacturers to control the robots, orchestrate the work cell and collect data.   Full Press Release:

Robotics-focused ETFs see big gains, Trump could hasten trend

Ryan Vlastelica for MarketWatch:  If robots are taking jobs, should you invest in the robot makers?

That’s the argument behind a pair of outperforming exchange-traded funds that track the robotics industry, which could continue seeing strong growth as more positions get automated by machines or algorithms.

In a Jan. 23 note, UBS named automation and robotics as one of the two areas of technological innovation that would drive productivity over the coming decade, along with the digital data industry.

“Both have the potential to profoundly transform the structure of our economy, disrupt existing business models, but also create substantial growth opportunities for those well-positioned to participate,” the firm wrote, singling out the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF ROBO, +0.59%  as a fund that would benefit from this trend, with the investment time horizon of a decade.  Cont'd...

Automation in IV Pharmacy Compounding

Automation in the pharmacy for IV drug compounding is still in its infancy.

Microbots: Microsoft's multi-pronged robotics play takes shape

Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft:  In the early 2000s, Microsoft was all-in on robotics. By the middle of that decade, the company seemingly had all but abandoned the robotics space.

But this may be the year that Microsoft may be ready to get back into robotics, on multiple fronts.

When Microsoft founder Bill Gates was still involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, robotics was slated to be one of Microsoft's next big things. Microsoft built a programming model and framework for developers working on anything from Lego robots to industrial-scale robots. However, that product, "Microsoft Robotics Studio," never really went beyond the academic and hobbyist communities and the company's ambitions in this space withered.

Cut to 2017. These days, the home for a good chunk of the Microsoft current robotics work is apparently in Microsoft Research (MSR) -- specifically in the AI + Research (AI+R) Group under executive vice president Harry Shum. (I say "apparently" here because Microsoft officials declined to answer any of my questions on the company's robotics initiatives.) Shum is known for his work in computer vision and graphics and has a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon.  Cont'd...

360° Optics Tutorial

Enabling a full object view with just one camera.

Robotics, artificial intelligence, and 5G are at the heart of Theresa May's new industrial strategy

Oscar Williams-Grut for Business Insider:  The government is putting cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G wireless internet, "smart" energy technology, and robotics at the heart of its new post-Brexit industrial strategy.

Theresa May is set to launch the government's "Modern Industrial Strategy" on Monday at a regional meeting of the cabinet in the North West.

The Prime Minister announced in a release on Sunday evening that the strategy would be focused around ten key strategic pillars, the first of which is: "Investing in science, research, and innovation."  Cont'd...

RTOS 101: Semaphores and Queues

The use of a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) is increasingly common in embedded software designs.

Artificial fingertip that 'feels' wins international robotics competition

Phys.org:  An open-source 3D-printed fingertip that can 'feel' in a similar way to the human sense of touch has won an international Soft Robotics competition for its contribution to soft robotics research.

Pushing the boundaries of soft robotics, the open-source tactile fingertip, known as TacTip, is a 3D-printed tactile sensor that has been developed by the Tactile Robotics Team from Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL).

The fingertip meets the need for a cheap, robust, versatile tactile sensor to give robots an artificial sense of touch. The sensor has a unique design in which a webcam is mounted inside a 3D-printed soft fingertip to track internal pins that act like touch receptors inside our own fingertips, making it cheap to build and highly customisable.  Cont'd...

Robots Took My Job but I Don't Care

The company pays the robot monthly, plus payroll taxes. The robot pays income tax and a percentage of the robot's wages go to the RMWP. The RMWP (Robot Minimum Wage Plan) collects the money and distributes it to the displaced workers.

CTRL The Robot. A modern industrial robot for the desktop.

Via Yahoo Finance:  This robot arm is a fraction of the price of similar robots you might see in factories.  It’s called CTRL and was developed by Robotics Evolved to be an affordable robot arm.

Unveiled at CES 2017, this desktop-sized robot arm aims to make robotics more accessible to the masses.  The device is open-source and can be run on the programming language of the user’s choosing.  For those unfamiliar with code, CTRL can also learn to replicate movements when manipulated by hand.

CTRL is currently equipped with a gripping tool but the company plans to expand attachment offerings to include options like spray nozzles and engraving tools.

Robotics Evolved is currently seeking funding through a Kickstarter campaign and you can reserve your very own CTRL robot arm for just over $500.  Kickstarter page:

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Zimmer Group - THE PREMIUM GRIPPER NOW WITH IO-LINK

Zimmer Group - THE PREMIUM GRIPPER NOW WITH IO-LINK

IO-Link is the first standardized IO technology worldwide for communication from the control system to the lowest level of automation.