ST Robotics Offers New Super-Fast Robot Arm

The ST R17HS uses state-of-the-art brushless servomotors and boasts an effective reach of 750mm, a repeatability of 0.2 mm and a maximum speed after acceleration of 480 deg/sec in the robot's waist, elbow, hand and wrist, with a shoulder speed of 300 deg/sec. 
"The R17HS is the result of years of development that puts us ahead of the field," said David Sands, President and CEO of ST Robotics. "Customers are finding it useful for high throughput production as well as testing applications requiring fast motion of test devices."   Full Press Release:

Brainstorm the Future

Robots will take our jobs and "move the cheese" for those seeking to replace those jobs. Simply referring to the old adages (Cars put blacksmiths out of work ... and they survived) will not suffice in modern times.

Robots Are Going Their Two Separate Ways

Mobility is a powerful enabler to intelligent robots as it increases the utilization of the robot in different form factors (land-based, air-based/space/drones, water-based and wearable/exoskeleton) and various applications.

Rise of Robots: Boon for Companies, Tax Headache for Lawmakers

Linda A. Thompson for Bloomberg News Agency:  European lawmakers are grappling for answers to a question that until recently seemed like the stuff of science fiction: If robots take our jobs, who will pay taxes?

In an age of unprecedented technological change occurring at a faster rate than the Industrial Revolution, concerns over the growing robotization and automation of work have prompted fears about mass unemployment and plummeting tax revenue in the near future, pitting companies and robotics manufacturers against lawmakers and worker advocates.

The issue is taking on new urgency ahead of a Feb. 16 vote before the EU Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on whether to create a robotics agency to deliberate on tax and liability issues.  Cont'd...

New Software to Coordinate Entire Work Cell

This new software is the first of its kind to connect all of your devices from a single controller, which extends the smart, flexible power of our robots to the entire work cell and provides unparalleled speed to deployment.

Are there enough robots?

Future trends indicate that there will be a concentration on the collaboration of human and machine, simplified applications, and light-weight robots. We will also see an increased focus on modular robots and robotic systems, which will be marketed at exceptionally alluring prices.

The Trends of Customized, Standardized, Modularity and Platform in Robots

Christensen's theory: from integrated approaches to modular approaches

How Dynamic Group Quadrupled Production Capacity with Collaborative Robots

This application produces a medical device with parts that are extremely heat sensitive, so cycle times have to be consistent from part to part.

Raspberry Pi-powered arm: This kit aims to make robotics simple enough for kids

Nick Heath for TechRepublic:  Think it's tricky to build and program a robot arm? Think again.

Powered by the Raspberry Pi, the MeArm Pi is a robot arm designed to be simple enough that kids aged 11+ can build and program it.

The lightweight plastic arm, which can pick up small objects such as Lego bricks, comes as a kit that keeps the number of screws to a minimum and is relatively straightforward to assemble using the included hex keys. It can be controlled via the Pi, either using joysticks attached to the included Pi HAT add-on board or by programming it from the Pi.  Cont'd...

Rethink Robotics Releases Intera 5: A New Approach to Automation

Rethink Robotics announced Intera® 5, a first-of-its-kind software platform that connects everything from a single robot controller, extending the smart, flexible power of Rethink Robotics' Sawyer™ to the entire work cell and simplifying automation with unparalleled ease of deployment. 
Built on the backbone of the industry's best train-by-demonstration software that powers the world's fastest-to-deploy robots, Intera 5 is paving the way for connected manufacturing environments and helping companies build factories of the future. Intera 5 fundamentally changes the need for integration, making it substantially easier and more affordable, allowing manufacturers to deploy full work cell automation in a matter of hours, not weeks. 
Intera 5 is much more than the latest version of Rethink Robotics' software; it's a new way to approach automation that allows manufacturers to control the robots, orchestrate the work cell and collect data.   Full Press Release:

Robotics-focused ETFs see big gains, Trump could hasten trend

Ryan Vlastelica for MarketWatch:  If robots are taking jobs, should you invest in the robot makers?

That’s the argument behind a pair of outperforming exchange-traded funds that track the robotics industry, which could continue seeing strong growth as more positions get automated by machines or algorithms.

In a Jan. 23 note, UBS named automation and robotics as one of the two areas of technological innovation that would drive productivity over the coming decade, along with the digital data industry.

“Both have the potential to profoundly transform the structure of our economy, disrupt existing business models, but also create substantial growth opportunities for those well-positioned to participate,” the firm wrote, singling out the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF ROBO, +0.59%  as a fund that would benefit from this trend, with the investment time horizon of a decade.  Cont'd...

Automation in IV Pharmacy Compounding

Automation in the pharmacy for IV drug compounding is still in its infancy.

Microbots: Microsoft's multi-pronged robotics play takes shape

Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft:  In the early 2000s, Microsoft was all-in on robotics. By the middle of that decade, the company seemingly had all but abandoned the robotics space.

But this may be the year that Microsoft may be ready to get back into robotics, on multiple fronts.

When Microsoft founder Bill Gates was still involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, robotics was slated to be one of Microsoft's next big things. Microsoft built a programming model and framework for developers working on anything from Lego robots to industrial-scale robots. However, that product, "Microsoft Robotics Studio," never really went beyond the academic and hobbyist communities and the company's ambitions in this space withered.

Cut to 2017. These days, the home for a good chunk of the Microsoft current robotics work is apparently in Microsoft Research (MSR) -- specifically in the AI + Research (AI+R) Group under executive vice president Harry Shum. (I say "apparently" here because Microsoft officials declined to answer any of my questions on the company's robotics initiatives.) Shum is known for his work in computer vision and graphics and has a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon.  Cont'd...

360° Optics Tutorial

Enabling a full object view with just one camera.

Robotics, artificial intelligence, and 5G are at the heart of Theresa May's new industrial strategy

Oscar Williams-Grut for Business Insider:  The government is putting cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G wireless internet, "smart" energy technology, and robotics at the heart of its new post-Brexit industrial strategy.

Theresa May is set to launch the government's "Modern Industrial Strategy" on Monday at a regional meeting of the cabinet in the North West.

The Prime Minister announced in a release on Sunday evening that the strategy would be focused around ten key strategic pillars, the first of which is: "Investing in science, research, and innovation."  Cont'd...

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

SCHUNK's New Safety Gripping System EGN

SCHUNK's New Safety Gripping System EGN

With the SLS, SOS, and STO functionalities, the SCHUNK EGN gripping system certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 13849 enables safe human/machine collaboration. If the production process is interrupted by an emergency shut-off, the SCHUNK EGN goes into either a safely limited speed mode or a safe stop mode depending on the activated protection zone. In contrast to other solutions available on the market, the SCHUNK safety gripping system is continuously powered even in the safe operating stop so that the gripped parts are reliably held even without mechanical maintenance of gripping force. As soon as the protection zone is released, the gripper immediately switches back to the regular operating mode without the system having to be restarted.