Is Velo3D Plotting a 3-D Printed Robot Revolution?

Tekla S. Perry for IEEE Spectrum:  Velo3D, based in Santa Clara, Calif., has $22.1 million in venture investment to do something in 3-D printing: That makes it fourth among 2015’s best-funded stealth-mode tech companies in the United States, according to CB Insights. This dollar number is about all the hard news that has come out of this startup, founded in 2014 by Benyamin Butler and Erel Milshtein. But job postings, talks at conferences, and other breadcrumbs left along Velo3D's development trail—has created a sketchy outline of this company’s plans.

Consider which 3-D printing technology is ready for disruption: metal. 3-D printing of plastics took off after 2009, when a key patent that covered the deposition technology expired; we now have desktop printers for 3-D plastic objects as cheap as $350. Printing of metal objects—done regularly in industry, particularly aerospace—uses a different, and, to date, far more expensive technology: selective laser sintering. This technology melts metal powders into solid shapes; it requires high temperatures, and far more complicated equipment than what’s found in the layering sort of printers used for plastic. The patent for this technology expired in early 2014—just before the formation of Velo3D. At the time, industry experts indicated that there wouldn’t be cheap metal printers coming anytime soon, but rather, would only come after “a significant breakthrough on the materials side,” OpenSLS’s Andreas Bastian told GigaOm in 2014. Could Velo3D’s founders have that breakthrough figured out?  Cont'd...

ABB introduces the IRBT 2005, a flexible and compact medium track motion platform for both robot and transfer applications

Designed to accommodate rapid product changes, the new track provides greater accuracy and up to 50% shorter cycle times.

Festo Showcases Advanced Automation Solutions for High Throughput Screening Laboratory Devices at SLAS 2016

Festo modular automation systems help laboratory equipment manufacturers lower engineering costs and bring products to market faster. (Festo SLAS Booth #537)(Festo AquaJellies - the bionic artificial jellyfish - also at SLAS)

Schunk - Rapid Mechatronic Gripper for Small Part Handling- EGP 25 Speed Version

The EGP from SCHUNK is the electric small part gripper with the most compact performance on the market. SCHUNK expanded the EGP series with a smaller size (25) which weighs 110g and has a stroke of 3 mm per finger.

New Integrated StepSERVO™ Motors from Applied Motion Products

Integrated Step Motors fuse step motor plus drive and control components into a single device. Integrated steppers offer a space-saving design that reduces wiring and saves on cost over separate motor and drive components.

Mouser Electronics and Grant Imahara Announce Another Exciting Year of Empowering Innovation

Global distributor Mouser Electronics will continue its popular Empowering Innovation Together(TM) Program with celebrity engineer Grant Imahara in 2016. To learn more about the exciting topics, visit (Graphic: Business Wire)

MODEX 2016: Smart Technologies from Swisslog for Fully Automated Light Goods Handling

Visitors to MODEX 2016 in Atlanta, GA from April 4-7, will experience first-hand the latest warehouse automation innovations from intralogistics specialist Swisslog. The company will demonstrate new picking technologies integrated with advanced robotics.

Six Research Teams to Develop Innovative Solutions with KUKA Lightweight Robot LBR iiwa

Six research teams from around the world will be developing innovative solutions with the KUKA lightweight robot LBR iiwa between now and Hannover Messe 2016

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide

New effort aims for fully implantable devices able to connect with up to one million neurons

VadaTech Launches the Industry's Highest Performance FPGA AMC

VadaTech announced the AMC595, an Advanced Mezzanine Card or AdvancedMC (AMC) based on the Xilinx® Virtex® UltraScale™ XCVU440 FPGA, arguably the highest performance FPGA available today.

VadaTech Announces Plan for Industry's Largest Portfolio of COTS VPX Products

VadaTech, a leading manufacturer of embedded boards, enabling software and application-ready platforms, today announced a major new initiative to bring its existing commercially-developed designs to the 3U VPX form factor.

A problem-solving approach IT workers should learn from robotics engineers

Greg Nichols  for ZDNet:  Google-owned Boston Dynamics got some bad news in the final days of 2015.  After years of development and intensive field trials, the Massachusetts-based robotics company learned that the U.S. Marines had decided to reject its four-legged robotic mule, Big Dog. The reason? The thing is too damn noisy for combat, where close quarters and the occasional need for stealth make excess machine noise a liability.

The setback reminded me of a story another group of robotics engineers told me about the development of their breakthrough machine, a robotic exoskeleton that enables paraplegics to walk and soldiers to hump heavy packs without wearing down. It also reminded me of a powerful approach to solving problems and dealing with setbacks that I've encountered again and again reporting on robotics.

Ekso Bionics, which went public in 2015, invented the first viable untethered exoskeleton, one that doesn't need to be plugged into an external power source. Their achievement rests on one engineering breakthrough in particular, and to arrive at it Ekso's engineers had to do something that's surprisingly difficult but incredibly instructive for non-engineers--they had to change the way they thought about their problem.  Cont'd...


ATX West - America's Most Comprehensive Design & Manufacturing Event Welcomes Prolific Futurist, Legendary Disney Animator and Philanthropic Innovator to its Keynote Stage

Leading U.S. Event Hosts Expert Talks, Technology-Packed Exhibition Hall, and Unmatched Networking Opportunities


Robotiq launches its newest Force Torque Sensor: the FT 300, bringing a sense of touch to robots. With plug and play integration on all Universal Robots, the Force Torque Sensor FT 300 makes automation of high precision tasks such as product testing, assembly and precise part insertion easy and fast to setup.

New Product - P-Rob 2 Second Generation of the Collaborative Robot

P-Rob 2 is an all-in-one robotic solution combining robot arm, sensor technologies and software including an embedded PC as control unit. So all that needs to be done is plug-in and run.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

Comau’s Racer3 Robot: Beauty and Passion Meet Precision and Speed

Comau's Racer3 Robot: Beauty and Passion Meet Precision and Speed

Racer3 is a powerful, high-speed, 6-axis articulated robot featuring a payload of 3kg and a reach of just 630 mm. Built from high-strength aluminum, the newest innovation in Comau robotics is lightweight and can be easily mounted on benches, walls, ceilings or on inclined supports. The third robot within the award-winning Racer family, Racer3 is Comau's response to the growing demand for fast, cost-effective robotic automation within small to medium-sized enterprises and emerging countries. Racer3 is intended for general industry use to increase productivity and reduce overall costs by automating industrial applications. It combines field-proven technology and enhanced dexterity with a keen focus on safety, design and product aesthetics. With a streamlined design and brushed metal exterior, the new powerhouse of a robot combines beauty and speed together with absolute precision and repeatability. Primary applications include assembly, material handling, machine tending, dispensing and pick & place.