Engineers use the environment to give simple robotic grippers more dexterity. Engineers at MIT have now hit upon a way to impart more dexterity to simple robotic grippers: using the environment as a helping hand. The team, led by Alberto Rodriguez, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and graduate student Nikhil Chavan-Dafle, has developed a model that predicts the force with which a robotic gripper needs to push against various fixtures in the environment in order to adjust its grasp on an object.
By Matt Beane for MIT Technology Review: I think perhaps there’s something else at work here. Beyond building robots to increase productivity and do dangerous, dehumanizing tasks, we have made the technology into a potent symbol of sweeping change in the labor market, increased inequality, and recently the displacement of workers. If we replace the word “robot” with “machine,” this has happened in cycles extending well back through the Industrial Revolution. Holders of capital invest in machinery to increase production because they get a better return, and then many people, including some journalists, academics, and workers cry foul, pointing to the machinery as destroying jobs. Amidst the uproar, eventually there are a few reports of people angrily breaking the machines. Two years ago, I did an observational study of semiautonomous mobile delivery robots at three different hospitals. I went in looking for how using the robots changed the way work got done, but I found out that beyond increasing productivity through delivery work, the robots were kept around as a symbol of how progressive the hospitals were, and that when people who’d been doing similar delivery jobs at the hospitals quit, their positions weren’t filled. Cont'd...
Nano Dimension Expands Network with Additional Global 500 Company Collaboration to Test Adoption of 3D Printed Electronics Technology
Nano Dimension will gain valuable exposure to the global semiconductor sector and will introduce its revolutionary 3D printing technology to early adopters.
Specially designed for use in process monitoring, machine vision, benchtop, laboratory, and OEM applications.
More fascinating bionics projects from Festo.
Thermwood has announced a program to develop a 3D Additive Manufacturing System, capable of making large carbon graphite reinforced composite thermoplastic components. These new systems will be based on Thermwood's Model 77, semi-enclosed, high wall gantry machine structures and American Kuhne, the preferred provider of engineered solutions for plastic, rubber & silicone extrusion, who developed a custom system, which integrates tightly, both mechanically and electronically.
Nachi announces the Global Launch of the World's Fastest and Lightest Compact Robot (MZ04), the Safe Robot Version (MZ04E) and the Extended Reach Model (MZ03L).
Using "Pattern Matching" Integrated Into Robot To Identify Parts Instead Of Features, Nachi's NV-PRO EX 3d Surface Pattern Matching Vision System Combines The Most Effective Attributes Of Several Traditional Sensing Solutions To Create An Innovative Technology With Advanced Application Capabilities.
World's first Additive / Subtractive manufacturing service launched
3D printing solutions startup partners with GreatAmerica Financial and Ascentium Capital to offer easy financing alternative for purchasing 3D printers
World Patent Marketing Is Manufacturing Startups and Entrepreneurs Through Its WPM Prototyping Division
WPM Prototyping specializes in high end quality engineering and prototypes for entrepreneurs and inventors all over the globe.
Mike Murphy for Quartz: 3D printing has been hailed as the future of manufacturing for years now. Consumers and investors were sold on the idea of being able to print anything at any time from a little box in their houses. But that Jetsons-like vision hasn’t come to pass. The 3D printers available to consumers are great for making small prototypes or tchotchkes. But they’re still slow, inaccurate and generally only print one material at a time. And that’s not going to change any time soon. That reality is setting in for 3D printer makers. Stratasys, which owns MakerBot and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial and industrial 3D printers, announced its fifth straight quarter of losses today. 3D Systems, which was founded by the man who invented 3D printing—Chuck Hull—isn’t faring much better. Wall Street’s interest in 3D printing seems to have peaked in the first week of 2014: The stock prices for both Stratasys and 3D Systems were at their highest on January 3 last year. Stratasys had completed the purchase of MakerBot—which has been called the “Apple” of 3D printing—about three months earlier, and it looked as if things were on the up. But a little over a year later, MakerBot laid off a fifth of its staff, closed its stores, and started focusing on selling to schools. As it stands, it seems that the market is retracting to industrial printers, for companies that benefit from rapidly prototyping objects. 3D printing makes a lot of sense when companies can quickly model and print their ideas—anything from new bike helmets to car doors or sprockets. These are where (relatively) cheap, disposable plastic models thrive, as companies can churn out all the models they need, and then turn to more traditional automated processes, like CNC milling or vacuum forming, to build their final product at scale, using materials that will actually last. Cont'd...
SLIPS Welcomes Allowance of Foundational Patents Providing Broad Coverage for New Class of Super-Repellent Surfaces
Patent allowances strengthen position of super-slippery surfaces that even defy Geckos
Unique Highly Versatile Materials Enable More Complex 3D Printing and Expand Artistic Creativity
Low-volume magnesium molding bridges manufacturing gap between prototyping and production.
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DENSO is the world's largest manufacturer - and user - of small assembly robots, employing over 17,000 of its robots in its own facilities. Over 77,000 additional DENSO robots are used by other companies worldwide. The compact, high-speed robots are used in traditional manufacturing sectors, as well as in advanced-technology applications in the medical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Learn more about DENSO Robotics