A Soft Control Architecture: Breakthrough in Hard Real-Time Design for Complex Systems

In the relentlessly changing world of technology, several important advances and trends have emerged that allow OEMs to transition to a soft control architecture that will not only move them away from dependence on FPGAs and DSPs, but also change the basis of competition in the equipment and machine tool industries.

Rethink Robotics Brings Strategic Global Partners Together in Boston

From China to Germany, channel partners convene to discuss the future of collaborative robots in manufacturing


AUTOMATICA 2016, which will take place in Munich from June 21 to 24, has attracted the world's best in terms of Service Robots. Housed in the dedicated Service Robotics Demonstration Park in Hall B4.518, over 20 exhibitors will show off the very latest in service robotic technology in several themed areas focussed on particular application types, such as medicine and transportation.

China's Big Bid For Germany's Industry 4.0 Technology

Klaus E. Meyer for Forbes:  Midea, the Chinese household appliances (“white goods”) manufacturer just made what analysts called an ‘incredibly high’ bid for German robot maker Kuka. This acquisition would take the Chinese investor right to the heart of Industry 4.0 : Kuka is a leading manufacturer of multifunctional robots that represent an important building block for enterprises upgrading their factories with full automation, the latest human-machine interface functionality, and machine-to-machine communication. Midea want a 30% stake in Kuka and have offered €115 per share. Kuka’s shares traded at €84 the day before and had already increased 60% since the beginning of the year. This offer values Kuka at €4.6 billion, which means Midea’s 30% stake would be worth €1.4 billion – on par with Beijing Enterprise’s February 2016 takeover of recycling company EEW which was the largest Chinese acquisition of a German firm to-date.

Midea’s takeover bid underscores Chinese interest in German Industry 4.0 technology; in January 2016, ChemChina paid €925 million for Munich-based KraussMaffei machine tools, in part because of their advances into Industry 4.0. Recent smaller Chinese acquisitions in the German machine tool industry, which include the partial acquisitions of H.Stoll by the ShangGong Group and of Manz by the Shanghai Electric Group are, in part, motivated by the objective to partake in the latest Industry 4.0 developments.  Cont'd...

Novotechnik - New Touchless In-Cylinder Sensors With 5 Output Versions

TH1 sensors have a rod that is easily mounted in-cylinder through one end and attached to the cylinder with either a threaded flange on the rod or a plug-in flange. Screw-plug hole is sized at 3/4 inch/M18 diameter and plug-in flange is 46 mm. A magnetic pick-up position marker is mounted on the application's piston rod.

New Microscan Smart Cameras Unveiled in Robotics Demo at The Vision Show 2016

Microscan along with distribution partner Axis New England, demonstrated flexible in-line inspection using the Universal Robots collaborative UR3 robotic arm and Microscan's latest machine vision smart camera platform at The Vision Show 2016 at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, from May 3-5.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Introduces Large Capacity 6-Axis Robots

These new robots extend the Mitsubishi Electric RV-F Series product line to address applications that require higher payloads and longer reaches, including CNC machine tending, large material handling and assembly applications. The new RV-35F, RV-50F, and RV-70F robots are especially well suited to the automotive, food and beverage, as well as electronic manufacturing industries.

Tether free actuator hailed as soft robotics breakthrough

Jon Excell for The Engineer:  Designed by a team at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, the new device is claimed to have considerable advantages over existing pneumatically-powered soft actuators as it doesn’t require a tether.

The device consists of a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA): a membrane made of hyperelastic material like a latex balloon, with flexible (or ‘compliant’) electrodes attached to each side.

The stretching of the membrane is regulated by means of an electric field between the electrodes, as the electrodes attract each other and squeeze the membrane when voltage is applied. By attaching multiple such membranes, the place of deformation can be shifted controllably in the system. Air is displaced between two chambers.

The membrane material has two stable states. In other words, it can have two different volume configurations at a given pressure without the need to minimize the larger volume. Thanks to this bi-stable state, the researchers are able to move air between a more highly inflated chamber and a less inflated one. They do this by applying an electric current to the membrane of the smaller chamber which responds by stretching and sucking air out of the other bubble.  Cont'd...

Industrial Internet of Things Focal Point for Global Automation & Manufacturing Summit at 2016's Industrial Automation North America

CANopen Motor Controllers for Electric Mobility and Vehicular Applications

The DVC series motor controllers from Advanced Motion Controls are digital four-quadrant servo drives purpose-designed and built to operate today's modern mobile electric vehicular platforms.

TM Robotics Partners with M.A.P Services to Sell Toshiba Machine Industrial Robots in Australia for the First Time

M.A.P will offer full line of Toshiba Machine Industrial Robot's Cartesian, 6-Axis and SCARA robot systems for all types of automation and materials handling industries

TM Robotics Hires Industry Veteran Doug Dalgliesh to Lead U.S. Sales Team

Former Yamaha Robotics exec brings more than thirty-five years of U.S. market experience to TM Robotics

Comau presents SmartDriveComau 800L

The horizontal machining center with its ergonomic design is thought to answer all manufacturing needs

SoftBank Robotics America Announces New Developer Portal and Android SDK to Boost Expansive Ecosystem of Support for Pepper - the Interactive, Humanoid Robot

In Preparation for Pepper's U.S. Debut, Developers are Invited to Collaborate, Create Applications and Be at the Forefront of the Robotics Evolution, Starting Today

OpenConnect Launches Latest Generation of Robotic Process Automation Solution, AutoiQ

OpenConnect,, a leader in software solutions that deliver efficiencies derived from objective workforce intelligence, analytics, and robotic process automation (RPA), has announced the introduction of AutoiQ™, the latest generation of its RPA solution.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

New KUKA Robot:  KR 3 AGILUS Maximum performance in minimum space

New KUKA Robot: KR 3 AGILUS Maximum performance in minimum space

Great advances often start with small steps - in manufacturing cells measuring only 600 × 600 mm. Here, the KR 3 AGILUS is in its element. Particularly in the case of small parts and products which must be produced in a minimum of space. KUKA expertise, concentrated into the smallest of spaces, is setting new standards for the 3-kg class. The lightweight robot masters various tasks with agility, dynamism and maximum precision, leading to high flexibility in production - even when it comes to extremely narrow spaces.