An instance of reshoring within a wider policy of genuine corporate social responsibility, and one which paid off. This is a story about robots, to be sure, but one in which humans are never far away...
From Sewbo: Sewbo Inc. on Thursday announced that it has achieved the long-sought goal of automated sewing, by using an industrial robot to sew together a T-shirt. This milestone represents the first time that a robot has been used to sew an entire article of clothing.
Despite widespread use in other industries, automation has failed to find a place in apparel manufacturing due to robots’ inability to handle limp, flexible fabrics. Sewbo avoids these hurdles by temporarily stiffening fabrics, making it easy for conventional robots to build clothes as if they were made from sheet metal. Afterwards, the process is reversed to produce soft, fully assembled garments.
“Our technology will allow manufacturers to create higher-quality clothing at lower costs in less time than ever before,” said Jonathan Zornow, the technology’s inventor. “Avoiding labor issues and shortening supply chains will help reduce the complexity and headaches surrounding today’s intricate global supply network. And digital manufacturing will revolutionize fashion, even down to how we buy our clothes by allowing easy and affordable customization for everyone.”
Sewbo performed their feat using an off-the-shelf industrial robot, which they taught to operate a consumer sewing machine. Having successfully proved its core concept, Sewbo is now expanding its team and working towards commercializing its technology... ( company webpage , MIT article )
Piab's Kenos KCS gripper enables a collaborative robot to handle just about anything at any time. Combining Piab's proprietary air-driven COAX vacuum technology with an easily replaceable technical foam that molds itself around any surface or shape, the gripper can be used to safely grip, lift and handle any object. Standard interface (ISO) adapters enable the whole unit to be attached to any cobot type on the market with a body made in a lightweight 3D printed material. Approved by Universal Robots as a UR+ end effector.