Ford Motor Company announced today its early testing of a new type of assembly line robot that were co-developed with German robotics company KUKA Roboter GmbH with the intention of assisting human line workers. Two of these three-foot-tall machines are in use at the Cologne, Germany factory, where they assist human workers to install shock absorbers on Ford Fiestas. These workers would have originally had to juggle the shocks and tools to install them, but now the robot helps them position and install the parts. More...
Samuel Bouchard for Engineering.com: Collaborative robots (also known as cobots) are changing how robots and humans interact in our factories and manufacturing facilities. No longer separated by cages, humans and cobots can work beside each other on complex tasks from picking and placement to assembly and logistics. Human-cobot systems bring together the best of human capabilities (complex reasoning, ease of learning new tasks, pattern and object recognition in cluttered environments) and robot functionality (the ability to perform complex, tedious tasks 24/7 and with high precision). The close proximity between humans and cobots and its advantages are exciting for manufacturers, SMEs, and the robotics industry, but it also brings a unique set of safety challenges. Enter ISO/TS 15066 – the world's first specifications of safety requirements for collaborative robot applications. Cont'd...
All these companies are logistics and material handling vendors and times are changing in logistics and fulfillment
In recent years, there have been many demands for equipment with high productivity to have a system that retains positioning information, even after the main power supply is turned off.
The Star: Chinese appliances giant Midea moved a step closer to fulfilling its ambition to acquire German industrial robotics firm Kuka with two weekend deals raising its stake to nearly a majority. Two of Kuka’s biggest German shareholders – technology company Voith and entrepreneur Friedhelm Loh – said they had decided to take up Midea’s offer of €115 (RM512) per share and sell their stakes. German news agency DPA reported that Voith had agreed to sell its stake of 25.1% for €1.2bil (RM5.34bil). And Loh told the business daily Handelsblatt he had decided to sell his stake of 10% for nearly €500mil (RM2.22bil). Combined with its existing holding of 13.5% in Kuka, the two purchases mean Midea now holds 48.5%, or not far from the outright majority, in the Augsburg-based robot builder. Cont'd.. .
Industrial robotics is changing the U.S. manufacturing industry portrait.
Construction of the Airbus A380 in Hamburg involves moving aircraft components measuring 15 meters in length and weighing up to 90 tonnes.
Generation Z is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the surge in the development and implementation of robotic systems that increase productivity and cut costs in a variety of industries.
Actuators have become a crucial part of the automated system, as they help with controlling equipment using hydraulic, pneumatic or in some of the cases electronic signals.
The new robotic movers no longer need to travel fixed routes, as they can be programmed while on the move. Focusing on automated materials handling processes, and the underlying robot perception technology, companies will be employing this sophisticated, state-of-the-art artificial intelligence now and in the future.
Subhrojit Mallick for GIZMODO India: Apple and Samsung phone manufacturer, Foxconn has already taken a step towards the dystopian future. The South China Morning Post reported the manufacturing giant has replaced 60,000 laborers with robots. The total strength of Foxconn factory workers reduced from 110,000 to 50,000, marking a huge shift towards automation of routine jobs. The Foxconn technology group confirmed to the BBC that they are automating many of the manufacturing tasks associated with their operations by introducing robots. However, they maintained the move will not affect long-term job losses. Cont'd...
In the relentlessly changing world of technology, several important advances and trends have emerged that allow OEMs to transition to a soft control architecture that will not only move them away from dependence on FPGAs and DSPs, but also change the basis of competition in the equipment and machine tool industries.
Klaus E. Meyer for Forbes: Midea, the Chinese household appliances (“white goods”) manufacturer just made what analysts called an ‘incredibly high’ bid for German robot maker Kuka. This acquisition would take the Chinese investor right to the heart of Industry 4.0 : Kuka is a leading manufacturer of multifunctional robots that represent an important building block for enterprises upgrading their factories with full automation, the latest human-machine interface functionality, and machine-to-machine communication. Midea want a 30% stake in Kuka and have offered €115 per share. Kuka’s shares traded at €84 the day before and had already increased 60% since the beginning of the year. This offer values Kuka at €4.6 billion, which means Midea’s 30% stake would be worth €1.4 billion – on par with Beijing Enterprise’s February 2016 takeover of recycling company EEW which was the largest Chinese acquisition of a German firm to-date. Midea’s takeover bid underscores Chinese interest in German Industry 4.0 technology; in January 2016, ChemChina paid €925 million for Munich-based KraussMaffei machine tools, in part because of their advances into Industry 4.0. Recent smaller Chinese acquisitions in the German machine tool industry, which include the partial acquisitions of H.Stoll by the ShangGong Group and of Manz by the Shanghai Electric Group are, in part, motivated by the objective to partake in the latest Industry 4.0 developments. Cont'd...
Over the next decade, 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 60% of them are likely to be unfilled due to the talent shortage. How can we close that number (and the skills gap)?
Alison E. Berman for Singularity Hub: If you've been staying on top of artificial intelligence news lately, you may know that the games of chess and Go were two of the grand challenges for AI. But do you know what the equivalent is for robotics? It's table tennis. Just think about how the game requires razor sharp perception and movement, a tall order for a machine. As entertaining as human vs. robot games can be, what they actually demonstrate is much more important. They test the technology's readiness for practical applications in the real world—like self-driving cars that can navigate around unexpected people in a street. Though we used to think of robots as clunky machines for repetitive factory tasks, a slew of new technologies are making robots faster, stronger, cheaper, and even perceptive, so that they can understand and engage with their surrounding environments. Consider Boston Dynamic’s Atlas Robot, which can walk through snow, move boxes, endure a hefty blow with a hockey stick by an aggressive colleague, and even regain its feet when knocked down. Not too long ago, such tasks were unthinkable for a robot. At the Exponential Manufacturing conference, robotics expert and director of Columbia University’s Creative Machine Labs, Hod Lipson, examined five exponential trends shaping and accelerating the future of the robotics industry. Cont'd...
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