When most think of sustainability in business, the concept of green processes is not always top of mind. However, incorporating technology, and more specifically robotics and cloud connected devices, creates a secondary sustainability effect that is markedly more streamlined
The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) supports the creation of ventures by young researchers / College students in IOT and Robotics. This year Nine teams with product ideas on IoT and four teams on robotics were selected for 2017 government funding.
The idea of many connected devices helping better control the factory floor is not new. IoT in one sense is merely a shift to internet addressable devices versus those either addressed by proprietary means or just "dumb".
The ST Robotics Workspace Sentry robot and area safety system are based on a small module that sends an infrared beam across the workspace. If the user puts his hand (or any other object) in the workspace, the robot stops using programmable emergency deceleration. Each module has three beams at different angles and the distance a beam reaches is adjustable. Two or more modules can be daisy chained to watch a wider area. "A robot that is tuned to stop on impact may not be safe. Robots where the trip torque can be set at low thresholds are too slow for any practical industrial application. The best system is where the work area has proximity detectors so the robot stops before impact and that is the approach ST Robotics has taken," states President and CEO of ST Robotics David Sands.