James Vincent for The Verge: A pair of hospitals in the Swiss city of Lugano have been testing the use of drones to transport laboratory samples. Since mid-March, logistics company Swiss Post has operated more than 70 tests flights between the two hospitals, and announced today that it plans to establish a regular service by 2018.
Spencer Ives for Security Systems News: The Unmanned Security Expo will have its own section of the show floor, marked by banners and different colored carpeting. The area will feature a "flying cage" that allows ground-based robots and aerial drones to display their movement capabilities. The expo currently has about 30 exhibitors, according to Sessa, with more still joining as of mid-March.
The white paper explores the impact of automation on the ever-evolving job market and the growing shortage of skilled employees with experience and training in advanced technologies. A3 examines the types of jobs that are going unfilled and reviews workforce development initiatives, including education, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training that will fill labor shortages and support ongoing economic growth and productivity.
Ben Coxworth for New Atlas: There may indeed be laws limiting the places in which aerial drones can be flown, but if someone sees a drone breaking one of those laws - particularly if it's from a distance - how do they know who's responsible? Drone manufacturer DJI has suggested a solution, in the form of what amounts to an "electronic license plate." The idea is that all drones would come equipped with inexpensive radio equipment that transmits both their location and a user-specific identification code.
David Reid for CNBC: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was not worried about the mass displacement of U.S. workers by robots and could be a century before a labor crisis eventuates. "It's not even on our radar screen ... 50-100 more years," Mnuchin said.
Erico Guizzo for IEEE Spectrum: We've seen how, over the last several years, open source software-platforms like the Robot Operating System (ROS), Gazebo, and OpenCV, among others-has played a huge role in helping researchers and companies build robots better and faster. Can the same thing happen with robot hardware?
Jonathan Vanian for Fortune: In addition to data about hobbyist-owned drones, the FAA said that it expects roughly 442,000 drones to be used by businesses by 2021 for tasks like taking pictures of farmland or inspecting cell phone towers. That's nearly ten times as many drones than the 42,000 the FAA said businesses used in 2016.
Reuters: Airspace is among some 70 companies working on counter-drone systems as small consumer and commercial drones proliferate. But unlike others, it aims to catch drones instead of disabling them or shooting them down.
Janice Williams for Newsweek: The first robot cop is expected to join Dubai's police force in May. Officials in Dubai unveiled plans to introduce a robotic police officer to the United Arab Emirates during a policing forum recently and said they intend to have robot cops serving as about 25 percent of the force by 2030.
In a new initiative called FarmView, researchers are working to combine sensors, robotics and artificial intelligence to create a fleet of mobile field robots they hope will improve plant breeding and crop-management practices.
SUAS News: Perceptual Robotics is applying leading edge autonomy concepts to industrial applications. Currently based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, our passion is to bridge the divide between academia and industry. Perceptual Robotics is applying leading edge autonomy concepts to industrial applications. Currently based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, our passion is to bridge the divide between academia and industry. Through our Innovate UK project, we will be developing a fully autonomous system for the intelligent, efficient and reliable inspection of wind turbines. Cont'd...
Preparing for automation means investing in robotics Nick Statt for The Verge: Robots are inevitably going to automate millions of jobs in the US and around the world, but there’s an even more complex scenario on the horizon, said roboticist Matt Rendall. In a talk Tuesday at SXSW, Rendall painted a picture of the future of robotic job displacement that focused less on automation and more on the realistic ways in which the robotics industry will reshape global manufacturing. The takeaway was that America, which has outsourced much of its manufacturing and lacks serious investment in industrial robotics, may miss out on the world’s next radical shift in how goods are produced. That’s because the robot makers — as in, the robots that make the robots — could play a key role in determining how automation expands across the globe. Full article:
A new study from Redwood Software and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) finds that the U.S. is the world leader in robotics automation investment, with an estimated robotics stock of $732 billion* - larger than the economy of Switzerland, which stood at $446 billion* in 2015. U.S. investment in robotics was $86 billion in 2015, up from less than $40 billion in 2009, when investment hit a low following the financial crisis, and more than 15 times higher than the OECD average. Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. investments in robotics rose 30%. "The U.S. is the world leader in robotics investment, and spending has recovered quickly since the financial crisis in 2009," said David Whitaker, Managing Economist at CEBR. "The sheer size of the economy and its large base of production in the automotive and electronic sectors make it a natural candidate for increased automation." Full Press Release:
ABB has sold its first robot manufactured in the United States. The IRB 2600 robot is the first to be produced at the ABB Auburn Hills, Michigan facility, and was sold by ABB Value Provider, CIM SYSTEMS, INC. to Hitachi Powdered Metals USA. The compact robot, which is painted with special commemorative red, white and blue paint, will be used for material handling of in-process engine component parts at the Hitachi Greensburg, Indiana facility. It is the 180th ABB robot at the Hitachi plant, which installed its first ABB robot in 2005. "The sale of ABB's first robot produced in the US to Hitachi is a tremendous milestone in the development of our manufacturing presence in the Americas," Full News Release:
Jon Excell for The Engineer: Online grocer Ocado is establishing a reputation as a major technology player. Jon Excell reports If prompted to name a UK company at the cutting edge of robotics and automation, few of us would cite one of the country's best-known grocery retailers. But, as The Engineer learned on a recent visit to one of its key facilities, online supermarket Ocado is establishing a reputation as a major technology player: harnessing and developing machine-learning systems, Internet of Things concepts and robotic hardware to a degree that leaves many traditional engineering businesses in the shade. Full Article:
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Space, or the lack of it, can be a challenge when placing barcodes or Data Matrix symbols on components. However, readable barcodes are critical to component traceability, time/date stamping, work in progress (WIP) tracking, and recall management. MicroHAWK UHD smart cameras can decode very small and difficult-to-read barcodes, including Data Matrix two-dimensional (2D) symbols and direct part marks (DPM). Users can rely on the MicroHAWK UHD to read symbols with an x-dimension almost invisible to the naked eye!