Development of Battery-Free Multi-Rotation Absolute Encoder

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.

Advances in farming robotics could address shortage in agricultural workers

By Steve Brachmann for IPWatchDog:  More and more, the agricultural world is looking towards the mechanization of labor processes through robotics as a way of potentially increasing their productivity. Robotics was identified as a sector of investment growth in agricultural tech by an April 2014 white paper on agriculture technologies published by the entrepreneurship and education non-profit Kauffman Foundation. Robotics is a regular focus of ours here on IPWatchdog, most recently visited in our coverage of the incredible advancements in walking and jumping robotics pioneered by Boston Dynamics, a Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary. With American farmers already heavily involved in the regulatory conversation involving the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, we thought that it would be interesting to delve into the world of farming robotics and see the recent advances in that particular field. It’s important to understand first that the robotics being developed for commercial use on farms won’t be stand-alone humanoid units ranging through fields to pick crops. Any piece of hardware implementing an algorithm which automates some of the manual work of farming falls under this heading. One good example of this is the LettuceBot, a precision thinning technology which works to visually characterize plants in a lettuce row, identify which plants to keep and eliminating unwanted plants to optimize yield. The unit doesn’t move by itself but is guided along by a tractor instead. The technology has been developed by Blue River Technology of Sunnyvale, CA, a company which has attracted $13 million in investment between 2011 and 2014 to commercialize this product. The LettuceBot’s creators hope toprovide the technology as a third-party service to farm owners before manufacturing the unit for commercial sale.   Cont'd...

Special Tradeshow Report for PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015

PACK EXPO 2015 will be held from September 28th - 30th in Las Vegas, Nevada. This RoboticsTomorrow.com Special Tradeshow report aims to bring you news, articles and products from this years event.

Robotic Vision Inspection System

Although the system was developed primarily for the inspection of orthopedic parts it can equally be used for the automated inspection of any critical parts, for example aeronautical.

RoboSAM Can Assess Its Situation and Call a Human for Help When It Needs Assistance

If the robot is not sure whether it can complete the task-for example if the part is "buried" within the bin-it takes pictures of its situation and calls a remotely located human (the "human on call") for help.

Technology gap gives foreign firms the edge in China robot wars

BY GERRY SHIH for Reuters:  In a cavernous showroom on the outskirts of this port city in northeastern China, softly whirring lathes and svelte robot arms represent Dalian Machine Tools Group's (DMTG) vision of an automated future for Chinese manufacturing. On closer inspection, however, most of the machines' control panels bear the logos of Japan's FANUC Corp or the German conglomerate Siemens. The imported control systems in DMTG's products – used in the assembly of everything from smartphones to cement trucks – are symbolic of the technology gap between Chinese and foreign industrial automation firms, just one of several challenges facing China's ambition to nurture a national robotics industry. Chinese robotics firms are also grappling with a weakening economy and slumping automotive sector, and industry insiders already predict a market bubble just three years after the central government issued policies to spur robotics development. "Last year everybody thought they could produce a robot," said Alan Lee, director of Asia sales and business development at Boston-based Rethink Robotics. "When you have market saturation you'll have filtering and M&A. These guys will be the first layer to suffer."  It is a storyline familiar from other new industries such as solar panels: Beijing's policies and subsides trigger a wave of low-margin, low-cost contenders to rush into the market, where, with no meaningful technology of their own, they struggle to compete on price alone.   Cont'd...

OMRON to Acquire U.S. Based Adept Technology

OMRON plans to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Adept common stock through an all cash tender offer followed by a second-step merger. OMRON will offer Adept investors $13.00 per share of Adept common stock, which represents a 63% premium over the closing price for Adept's common stock on September 15, 2015. This values Adept at approximately $200 million. OMRON will fund the tender offer through cash on hand.  Commenting on the acquisition, Yutaka Miyanaga, OMRON Industrial Automation Business Company President, said, "We are delighted Adept Technology, a world leader in robotics, has agreed to join OMRON. This acquisition is part of our strategy to enhance our automation technology and position us for long term growth. Robotics will elevate our offering of advanced automation."  Rob Cain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Adept, added, "We are excited about the opportunity to join OMRON, a global leader in automation. Together, our products will offer new innovative solutions to customers all around the globe."  Full Press Release:

3 Key Ways Automation Reduces Safety and Ergonomic Concerns

As companies continue to rely on automation to remain competitive, employees will have the benefit of working in safer environments. In the years to come, the question won't be "Is your company automating?" but instead "How is your company automating?"

5 Robotics Stocks to Watch

Chad Fraser for The Street:  Soon, robots could be doing much more than just vacuuming your house or assembling your next car-they could also invade your investment portfolio. If you're looking for the industry's fastest growth, you'll want to pay particular attention to what's happening on the consumer/office side, where sales are set to grow at a 17% compound annual rate between 2014 and 2019, according to a May report from Business Insider -- seven times quicker than the industrial-robot market. In addition, a number of radical new applications for robotics are emerging in the medical and defense markets, as outlined in this presentation from Investing Daily. Even though the automation trend is clearly set, there still aren't many pure ways for investors to play it. But that doesn't mean there are no intriguing options out there. Here are five robot makers to keep on your radar screen:

Festo's R&D Timeline - Part 3 - 2010 & 2011

Part 3 includes more bionic robots like the smartbird and a handler modeled after an elephant trunk.

New Open Loop Current Transducers With Near Closed Loop Performance

Measured performance is at the level expected and increases the range of applications which may be addressed by open loop transducers instead of more complex solutions.

New Automation Technician Program at George Brown College

The purpose of this program is to help graduates prepare for career opportunities in a variety of positions in field including automation, process control, PLCs, robotics, packaging, power generation, mining, machine design, and building automated systems, maintenance, transportation, systems integration, component testing, technical sales, quality control and a host of other fields.

194 Chinese Robot Companies

The robotics industry is booming in China. Companies are deploying thousands of robots in all types of factories, particularly in the auto industry. Chinese companies that manufacture robots and their components are also growing. This article will focus on the 107 makers of those robots.

Humanoid robot negotiates outdoor, rough terrain with ease

Boston Dynamics have developed the "Atlas" robot a highly mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain.  Here is a video showing "Atlas" courtesy euronews.

Breaking down the robot-factory language barrier

In most industrial settings, robots speak one language and the plants within which they work speak another.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

ROBOTMASTER V7

ROBOTMASTER V7

Since Robotmaster V7 uses integrated CAD/CAM functionality, for the first time, the power of Robotmaster can be used by welding, cutting and other process experts without buying or learning complex CAD/CAM software. As in past versions, Robotmaster V7 imports paths, but now makes it even easier for end users to leverage any CAD/CAM tool choice. It is an intuitive tool that anyone could use, with or without robotics expertise. It bridges the gap between robots and manufacturing by providing easy programming solutions for part manufacturing.