Universal Robots' recently published financial statements leave no doubt as to the enormous growth potential of the robot industry. With revenue reaching 418 million DKK in 2015, the Odense-based company achieved 91% growth compared to 2014, while delivering a brilliant bottom line performance: a profit of 65.4 million DKK before tax.
By Elisabeth Behrmann & Christoph Rauwald for Bloomberg Business: “Robots can’t deal with the degree of individualization and the many variants that we have today,” Markus Schaefer, the German automaker’s head of production, said at its factory in Sindelfingen, the anchor of the Daimler AG unit’s global manufacturing network. “We’re saving money and safeguarding our future by employing more people.” Mercedes’s Sindelfingen plant, the manufacturer’s biggest, is an unlikely place to question the benefits of automation. While the factory makes elite models such as the GT sports car and the ultra-luxury S-Class Maybach sedan, the 101-year-old site is far from a boutique assembly shop. The complex processes 1,500 tons of steel a day and churns out more than 400,000 vehicles a year. That makes efficient, streamlined production as important at Sindelfingen as at any other automotive plant. But the age of individualization is forcing changes to the manufacturing methods that made cars and other goods accessible to the masses. The impetus for the shift is versatility. While robots are good at reliably and repeatedly performing defined tasks, they’re not good at adapting. That’s increasingly in demand amid a broader offering of models, each with more and more features. Cont'd...
Researchers from Sheffield Robotics have applied a novel method of automatically programming and controlling a swarm of up to 600 robots to complete a specified set of tasks simultaneously.
IDC Forecasts Worldwide Spending on Robotics to Reach $135 Billion in 2019 Driven by Strong Spending Growth in Manufacturing and Healthcare
The new spending guide measures purchases of robotic systems, system hardware, software, robotics-related services, and after-market robotics hardware on a regional level across thirteen key industries and fifty-two use cases.
The VEX Robotic Arm by HEXBUG received the award for Educational Toy of the Year at the Toy Industry Association's 16th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, also known as the "Oscars" of the toy industry. This distinguished honor is granted annually to a toy that best enables learning through play. Receiving the 2016 Educational TOTY further cements HEXBUG and VEX Robotics as continued world leaders in innovative toys and robotics.
If you've worked with ROS and robotics, you've probably heard of gmaping, localization, SLAM, costmaps and paths, but what does all this mean? They are more than just robot buzz words - these allow a robot to get from one point to another without bumping into obstacles, and in this tutorial, we'll be covering some of the key concepts in what makes up an autonomous robot.
SME Announces Smart Manufacturing Seminar Series to Educate and Showcase Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
Topic of additive manufacturing/3D printing session kicks off series March 16 in Detroit
By Jed Kolko for Five Thirty Eight: More and more work activities and even entire jobs are at risk of beingautomated by algorithms, computers and robots, raising concerns that more and more humans will be put out of work. The fear of automation is widespread — President Obama cited it as the No. 1 reason Americans feel anxious about the economy in his State of the Union address last month — but its effects are not equally distributed, creating challenges for workers and policymakers. An analysis of where jobs are most likely to face automation shows that areas that voted Republican in the last presidential election are more at risk, suggesting that automation could become a partisan issue. So-called “routine” jobs — those that “can be accomplished by following explicit rules” — are most at risk of automation. These include both “manual” routine occupations, such as metalworkers and truck drivers, and “cognitive” routine occupations, such as cashiers and customer service reps.1 Whereas many routine jobs tend to be middle-wage, non-routine jobs include both higher-wage managerial and professional occupations and lower-wage service jobs. Cont'd...
Spread , a vegetable producer, said industrial robots would carry out all but one of the tasks needed to grow the tens of thousands of lettuces it produces each day at its vast indoor farm in Kameoka, Kyoto prefecture, starting from mid-2017. The robots will do everything from re-planting young seedlings to watering, trimming and harvesting crops. The innovation will boost production from 21,000 lettuces a day to 50,000 a day, the firm said, adding that it planned to raise that figure to half a million lettuces daily within five years. “The seeds will still be planted by humans, but every other step, from the transplanting of young seedlings to larger spaces as they grow to harvesting the lettuces, will be done automatically,” said JJ Price, Spread’s global marketing manager. The new farm – an extension of its existing Kameoka farm – will improve efficiency and reduce labour costs by about half. The use of LED lighting means energy costs will be slashed by almost a third, and about 98% of the water needed to grow the crops will be recycled. The farm, measuring about 4,400 sq metres, will have floor-to-ceiling shelves where the produce is grown... ( cont'd )
National Robotics Week Looks to Host More Events, Robot Enthusiasts and STEM Educators than Ever Before
Help Promote the Importance of Technology Education this April
Fivefold triumph for the KUKA small robot: with the American Good Design Award, the KR AGILUS adds another trophy for excellent product design to its collection.
Navitar, Inc, a leading USA-based manufacturer of precision optics and imaging system components, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Hyperion Development, LLC, a leading design firm and manufacturer of custom optical assemblies and OEM solutions. The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the first quarter.
Global shipments for motion control products declined by 3.9% to $2.9 billion in 2015, according to new statistics released by the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA), the industry's trade group.
Robotics Business Review unveils its fifth annual RBR50 List
SCHUNK has introduced several improvements on the original PGN-Plus and has announced the newest generation gripper, PGN-Plus-P. Enlarged supporting dimensions between the six load-bearing shoulders of the multi-tooth guidance allow higher moment capacity which can accommodated longer fingers and greater loads.
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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product
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.