Dan Dibbern and Laura Studwell for Quality Magazine: Industrial robots are expected to be the focus for investment in factory automation. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), investment in industrial robots is expected to grow at an annual rate of 12% from 2015 to 2017. The packaging industry is experiencing a surge in robotic integration throughout primary, secondary and tertiary packaging—from processing, assembly, labeling and cartoning to case packing and palletizing.
The driving force behind the surge in robotics sales growth in North America is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FSMA is requiring companies to introduce automated machinery and components into the production process to help eliminate potential product quality and integrity issues.
With the FSMA about to publicly release its requirements, the use of robots in packaging is at the point of takeoff. And with recent technical advances in robotics helping to power the new wave of interest, companies are experiencing first-hand that robots are faster, smarter and more affordable than ever before.
From Fetch Robotics (the core team from Unbounded Robotics/all former employees of Willow Garage):
The Fetch Robotics’ system is comprised of a mobile base (called Freight) and an advanced mobile manipulator (called Fetch). Fetch and Freight can also use a charging dock for autonomous continuous operations; allowing the robots to charge when needed and then continue on with their tasks. In addition, the system includes accompanying software to support the robots and integrate with the warehouse environment. Both robots are built upon the open source robot operating system, ROS.
Fetch is an advanced mobile manipulator, including features such as:
- Telescoping spine with variable height from 1.09 to 1.491 meters
- Capacity to lift approximately 6 kgs.
- 3D RGB Depth Sensor
- Back-Drivable 7DOF Arm
- Modular Gripper Interface
- Head Expansion Mount Points
- Pan-Tilt Head
- Differential Drive
Freight is a modular base, used separately or in conjunction with Fetch. Features include:
- Base Expansion Mount Points
- Payload support of approximately 68 kgs.
- 2D Laser Scanner
- Stereo Speaker
- Computer Access Panel
From The Independent:
A drone start-up is going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation.
AGB® manages a set of robotic manipulators able to locate and identify your strawberries, selecting them based on their size and degree of ripeness.
This system analyzes your fruit one by one, and it is responsible for ordering cutting movements that guarantee accuracy, smoothness, and sensitivity in the strawberry treatment. The fruit, picked with the strictest hygiene conditions, is driven by our FlexConveyor System to the packaging area. Select the ripeness you would pick up.
AGvision ® is an artificial vision system that identifies your fruit with maximum accuracy and consistency. Its advanced technology, implement in real time a protocol for morphological and color analysis which systematically return the ripeness of the fruit, discriminating exclusively those strawberries which meets the quality standards previously set by the farmer... (more details)
Introducing Sawyer – the revolutionary new high performance collaborative robot designed to execute machine tending, circuit board testing and other precise tasks that are impractical to automate with industrial robots.
Smaller Footprint, Longer Reach
Smaller and lighter weight than Baxter, and with 7 DOF and a 1026 mm reach, Sawyer can maneuver into the tight spaces and varied alignments of work cells designed for humans.
With a base price of $29,000, Sawyer will initially be available in North America, Europe, China and Japan, with limited availability beginning in mid-2015.
Like Baxter, Sawyer is powered by the industry’s best and most intuitive software platform, Intera. It features the same iconic “face” screen (with a refreshed and even more expressive design) that helps it communicate with co-workers, along with the train-by-demonstration user interface that revolutionized how robots can be deployed on factory floors. Sawyer runs on the same version of Intera as Baxter, and will continue to evolve and improve with regular upgrades... (more details) (more about Intera software)
From the new Star Wars:
From NASA at the Johnson Space Center:
From 3D Robotics:
Today 3DR announced Solo, an all-in-one personal drone whose ease of use and powerful new features kick off a new aerial age. With computing power unmatched in the industry—from two integrated Linux computers, one on the craft and one in the controller—Solo delivers several world-first technologies, such as unfettered in-flight access to GoPro controls, including wireless HD streaming straight to mobile devices, and effortless computer-assisted Smart Shot flight features that allow even new pilots to capture professional aerial video from day one.
Solo’s intelligence unlocks powerful and one-of-a-kind computer-assisted Smart Shots (patent pending). Just set up the exact shot you want in real time, then tap “play” on the app and Solo will execute it with a level of precision and a soft touch that even seasoned cinema pilots can’t match. And with a list of Smart Shots to choose from, the perfect shot is always just a few taps away. Cable cam and Orbit allow you to create a known and safe flight path along a virtual track in space, freeing you to shift your focus to getting the shot you want; or simply hit “play” and let Solo fly itself while simultaneously working the camera for you, as smooth and even as an expert cameraman. Follow mode lets you go completely hands-free, while Solo keeps up with your every move. Solo also features a one-touch aerial Selfie for a dramatic and customizable establishing Smart Shot of you and your surroundings. It’s all in service of Solo’s guiding principle: Get the shot. Every time.
Stream HD GoPro video to mobile devices or through HDMI
Solo is the world’s first drone to wirelessly deliver HD video from your GoPro to your iOS or Android mobile device, at ranges of up to half a mile. Solo’s controller has HDMI output for live HD broadcast—to FPV goggles, high-quality field monitors, Jumbotrons at live events, even news vans—and with a staggeringly low video latency your live video is immediate and fluid for an “in-the-moment” feel. For instant social sharing of your aerial videos, you can even record the live video stream directly from the mobile app to your device’s camera roll... (full details)
More videos and complete specs... (here)
From QinetiQ North America:
By transforming manned industrial vehicles into unmanned robots, DriveRobotics™ add-on applique kit lets building demolition and roadside construction companies convert to unmanned operations whenever operators face hazardous situations. This commercial robotic system, which can also be installed in new vehicles and existing fleets, eliminates need for spotter. Remote-control capabilities enable or facilitate machine use in demanding applications... (full press release)
About Gear Generator:
Gear Generator is a tool for creating involute spur gearsand download them in SVG format. In addition it let you compose full gear layouts with connetcted gears to design multiple gears system with control of the input/output ratio and rotation speed. Gears can be animated with various speed to demonstrate working mechanism... (link)
From University of Tokyo:
In our laboratory, the Lumipen system has been proposed to solve the time-geometric inconsistency caused by the delay when using dynamic objects. It consists of a projector and a high-speed optical axis controller with high-speed vision and mirrors, called Saccade Mirror (1ms Auto Pan-Tilt technology). Lumipen can provide projected images that are fixed on dynamic objects such as bouncing balls. However, the robustness of the tracking is sensitive to the simultaneous projection on the object, as well as the environmental lighting... (full article)
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