Kickstarted at $3M, How Tiko is Set to Be the Best and Cheapest 3D Printer

Sage Lazzaro for The Observer:  When we last talked with the folks from Makerbot, we discussed how 3D printers will soon be household appliances as common as microwaves, vacuums and well, regular printers. But they agreed that certain design and affordability standards need to be met first. Little did we know, a 3D printer set to meet those standards was being developed in Toronto as we spoke.
 
We’re talking about Tiko, the meticulously designed and shockingly affordable “unibody” 3D printer that’s had the industry’s experts and publications buzzing. The $179 3D printer surpassed its Kickstarter goal of $100,000 in three hours and finished up its campaign last Friday with a total of just under $3 million in pledges.
 
Tiko looks nothing like any 3D printer you’ve seen before. While most have a multipart frame, Tiko’s frame is one piece with three sets of arms that move in unison, essentially eliminating issues of misalignment or inaccurate prints associated with other products. The New York Observer spoke with Tiko founder and CEO Matt Gajkowski, who explained that Tiko’s unique design is actually essential to its affordability.  Cont'd...

Robotics Emerge to Power Next-Generation Industrial Environments

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.

Video - Milling a Statue out of Soft Foam

This is an example of high speed milling of a soft foam statue into a sculpture using Robotmaster and a KUKA Robot. The 7-axis robot allows accurate cutting from all angles.

How to Save a Firefighter's Life

As more robots are designed and implemented in fighting fires, the safer it becomes for the human firefighters. These robots, combined with rescue robots, can ensure that every fire fighter comes home after the job is done.

Frankenimage

From David Stolarsky:

The goal of Frankenimage is to reconstruct input (target) images with pieces of images from a large image database (the database images).

Frankenimage is deliberately in contrast with traditional photomosaics. In traditional photomosaics, more often than not, the database images that are composed together to make up the target image are so small as to be little more than glorified pixels. Frankenimage aims instead for component database images to be as large as possible in the final composition, taking advantage of structure in each database image, instead of just its average color. In this way, database images retain their own meaning, allowing for real artistic juxtaposition to be achieved between target and component images... (full description and pseudo code)

Monoprice's $699.99 Dual Extrusion Printer

From Monoprice:

$699. Quickly sold out though. New stock ETA 5/25/2015 (monoprice order page)

Artoo: Ruby on Robots

From Artoo, a ruby framework, that supports 15 platforms including ARrone, Crazyflie, Sphero, and Arduino:

Modular Example

require 'artoo/robot'

SPHEROS = ["4567", "4568", "4569", "4570", "4571"]

class SpheroRobot < Artoo::Robot
  connection :sphero, :adaptor => :sphero
  device :sphero, :driver => :sphero

  work do
    every(3.seconds) do
      sphero.roll 90, rand(360)
    end
  end
end

robots = []
SPHEROS.each {|p|
  robots << SpheroRobot.new(:connections => 
                              {:sphero => 
                                {:port => p}})
}

SpheroRobot.work!(robots)

more information (here) and at (github)

RoboticsTomorrow.com - Automate 2015 Coverage

This year RoboticsTomorrow.com is once again a media partner for Automate 2015 and we have expanded to bring more news, articles, products and perspectives from the show.

Global Industrial Robots and Material Handling Conveyor Growth in 2015

From increased sales and installations to more affordable robots and quicker ROIs, all evidence points to the multi-billion dollar market of industrial robotics continuing to grow for years to come.

ROBOCHOP: Interactive Installation Allows Internet Users Worldwide to Remotely Control a Pop-up Robotic Plant

From Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram:

From March 16-20, 2015 internet users and visitors to CODE_n (Hall 16) at CeBit in Hanover will be able to use an online app connected to the ROBOCHOP installation to design and fabricate a piece of furniture in real time.

The ROBOCHOP interface lets participants instruct a robotic arm to grab and sculpt a prefabricated 40 x 40 x 40cm durable foam cube using a floor mounted hot wire tool to create the object of their choice.

The pop-up robotic plant has been conceptualised, coded and built by KRAM/WEISSHAAR. ROBOCHOP features a needle gripper as the robot’s hand, coaxial cooling of the cutting wire and sensors to measure the wire’s tension and provide direct feedback to the system. This harnesses the robot’s brute force and allows it to sculpt hundreds of unique objects consecutively with elegance and precision. Once manufacturing is complete, each custom object is packaged and posted to the user anywhere in the world entirely free of charge... (full release) (homepage)

 

Automating Jobs: The Driverless Car Will Have Some Ugly Side Effects

During the ten years between 2020 and 2030, we're going to have our first experience with human-free businesses where systems/software will be communicating/negotiating with each other and you'll just be sitting on the sideline.

Prototyping with UberBlox

UberBlox is a new high-quality metal construction set and prototyping system for makers to build rigid structures and automated machines.

Robotics meets 3D Printing

The Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) named the 3D printer as a top technology trend in its 2015 edition of "Top 5 Technology Trends to Watch"

Minibuilders

From iaac:

Minibuilders was conceptualized as a community of three modestly sized robots which were tasked with very specific jobs that aggregated to a large scale operation.

Each robot completes its programmed job in sequence to fully construct an automated, inhabitable structure... (full article)

3-D Human Tissue Printing

The bioprinting revolution could eventually begin to deliver "tissue on demand." This might not be the cure-all; but for many patients, it might prove to be life-changing.

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Personal & Service Robots - Featured Product

ST Robotics - r12 robot arm

ST Robotics - r12 robot arm

ST Robotics have decades of experience in industrial robots having sold hundreds of robots over the years. The company has 3 main models, R12, R17 and R19 all using a unique simple industrial technology that dramatically reduces costs resulting in the lowest priced industrial robots available. The same uncomplicated technology vastly improves reliability. ST backs this up with a 2 year warranty. Typical applications are routine testing, sample handling and also education. The software is a different paradigm from most robots. It is command based; you type a command and see immediate action. Programming is a building block approach, building confidence as you program in small 'mind-sized bytes'. ST offers free unlimited technical support.