Kuka launches new version of Agilus small industrial robot

Kuka’s new KR 3 AGILUS small robot
Kuka’s new KR 3 Agilus small robot

Kuka has introduced the newest member of its KR Agilus family of small robots. The company says the “extremely compact” KR 3 Agilus completes the series of small robots.

The KR 3 Agilus is used for production applications where very short cycle times and maximum output are required, such as assembling small components, performing handling tasks, screw fastening, brazing, adhesive bonding, packaging, testing and inspecting.

Kuka says the new Agilus family of small robots enables automation in cells with dimensions of 600 x 600 mm.  Continue reading Kuka launches new version of Agilus small industrial robot

How motion systems transform airline seating from cramped into comfortable

actuators and airline seats


As the demand for air travel keeps on growing, so does the needs of the passengers that come aboard.

Aero planes tend to have very limited space for which much of the facilities have to be fitted in and made to the standards that the customers are willing to pay for.

As such, engineers are tasked with figuring out how best they bring about that element without compromising on the size of the air craft and safety among others, while maintaining the economic aspect of the airline owners.  Continue reading How motion systems transform airline seating from cramped into comfortable

The wheel robot: intelligent modular actuator concept

wheeled robot 1


Wheel robots

The wheel robots are for the larger part derived from the Mars rovers, which have actuators integrated into the wheels to help with the movement on the rugged grounds in space. This is made possible with the help of 12 volt linear actuators.

There is some elemental aspects of robotics that are involved in the setup. For there to be synchronous movement on a ground that is not evenly leveled, there is need for each of the units to have its own local control unit.

The local control units are then connected to the central control unit to make sure that they all are moving in the same direction, despite the fact that the wheels they control are experiencing variance in travel and elevation.  Continue reading The wheel robot: intelligent modular actuator concept

A new dawn of car tech: customization through software, not hardware


Three ways entrepreneurs can bring the rate of progress we’ve seen in computing and communication to car tech.

Throughout much of early-to-mid 20th century, cutting-edge design and technology found its way into cars. Following the invention of the integrated circuit, chips and bits started displacing pistons and gears in the hearts and minds of engineers.

Silicon Valley’s gravitational force began stripping Motor City of its talent, compounding with the success of every tech startup. Not long after the birth of the Internet, Silicon Valley experienced unencumbered prosperity, while Detroit struggled to hold on for dear life.

Full article: http://www.oreilly.com/pub/cpc/20765

German robots win football competition

robot football

A well-trained team of robots from Germany has won the robot equivalent of the World Cup

The event, officially called the Stanford Platform competition, pits teams of five Nao robots – originally developed by Aldebaran – against each other in a knockout tournament.

And as with many human World Cups, the robot tournament was won by a team from Germany, ironically called B-Human.

Full report at Telegraph.co.uk

Robotic lettuce harvester prototype wins farming award


The UK’s first national agricultural technology business plan competition has been won by a lettuce-picking robot 

It is estimated that over 60 per cent of the production cost of a lettuce is in the manual harvesting. Automating this process would allow producers to be more competitive and respond faster to demand. 

SoftHarvest, working closely with G’s Growers, one of the UK’s largest vegetable producers, has developed a robotic handler with vision recognition that is set to revolutionise this £300 million market across the UK, France and Spain.

SoftHarvest was selected as the student winner of Grow, the UK’s first national agri-tech business plan competition.  Continue reading Robotic lettuce harvester prototype wins farming award

UK science minister pledges £5 million to robotics

robotics and autonomous systems transforming-our-future

Multi-million-pound boost for next generation robotics technologies as robotics week comes to an end

Science Minister Jo Johnson has announced a £5 million challenge, to encourage UK companies and academics to develop robotic innovations.

The challenge will encourage UK businesses and academic institutions to work together to develop new and novel uses for robotics and autonomous systems across different industry sectors. The competition has been devised by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). 

Speaking at the end of EPSRC’s robotics week, Johnson says: “The UK is a world leader in advanced robotic technologies that promise to transform so many aspects of our lives.  Through this £5 million competition we will build UK expertise in robotic and autonomous systems and open up new opportunities for innovative businesses and economic growth.”  Continue reading UK science minister pledges £5 million to robotics

Diamonds are a tool’s best friend, says Daimler

diamonds are a girl's best friend

Daimler is planning to invest in bling bling – especially ice, because it believes diamonds are a tool’s best friend 

Daimler-Benz, which also owns the Mercedes marque, is backing a new generation of engineering tools coated with diamonds because it says “innovative high-performance tools are of great economic importance”. 

The company has awarded its annual Bertha Benz Prize 2016 to a young engineer – Dr-Ing [Doctor of Engineering] Fiona Sammler – for her scientific study of diamond-coated tools, which the company says is an “important research contribution to the development of lightweight construction”.

The potential of diamond coated tools is large, claims Daimler, adding that the gems’ “incredible hardness” means they are capable of fiber-reinforced plastics, aluminum-silicon alloys, wood, as well as stone and concrete, ceramics and glass cutting.

Continue reading Diamonds are a tool’s best friend, says Daimler

Large Kuka shareholder Voith sells stake to Midea


One of Kuka’s biggest shareholders has sold its stake in the robot-maker ahead of a possible takeover by Midea, the Chinese manufacturer of household appliances. 

Midea has offered to buy the whole of Kuka for $5 billion, and already owns a significant share in the German company.

Now, a large, family-owned company called Voith is to sell its share in Kuka to Midea.  Continue reading Large Kuka shareholder Voith sells stake to Midea

BMW, Intel and Mobileye team up to launch fully autonomous cars by 2021

bmw intel mobileye

Fleets of fully autonomous cars to be used as basis for new mobility services in urban environments

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye are creating an open platform for the next generation of cars to create the safest autonomous platform, from door locks to the datacenter. The three companies say they share a common vision and goal, to align the industry on a standards-based platform to quickly bring autonomous vehicles to market. 

BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye say they are joining forces to make self-driving vehicles and future mobility concepts become a reality. The three companies from the automotive, technology and computer vision and machine learning industries are collaborating to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production by 2021.

The companies say the future of automated driving promises to change lives and societies for the better. But the path to get to a fully autonomous world is complex and will require end-to-end solutions that integrate intelligence across the network, from door locks to the data center. Transportation providers of the future must harness rapidly evolving technologies, collaborate with totally new partners, and prepare for disruptive opportunities.  Continue reading BMW, Intel and Mobileye team up to launch fully autonomous cars by 2021

GateHouse Logistics joins Industrial Data Space

gatehouse logistics

Supply chain data unifier joins association of business leaders to identify, analyze and evaluate best practice requirements for open Industry 4.0 ecosystems across all industrial sectors

Data tracking unifier GateHouse Logistics today announces that it has become a member of the Industrial Data Space (IDS) user association to participate in the development of reference architecture for Industry 4.0 software solutions and business models. 

Launched by European research organisation Fraunhofer in January 2016, the association brings together science and industry to develop open architecture models for all sectors turning to the applied use of Industry 4.0. Examples include smart manufacturing, and smart supply chains. 

The association has its roots in Germany and aims to become a global organisation open to all researchers and industry members.  Continue reading GateHouse Logistics joins Industrial Data Space

Protecting humans from robots in the workplace

fanuc industrial robot

In advance of the Next-Generation Collabrative Robots & Automation Technologies 2016 conference (August 17-18, Detroit MI), we spoke to Matt Epperson, compliance safety and health officer, Department of Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

With the industry now witnessing an influx of next-generation collaborative robotics and automation technologies, how important is it for the automotive industry and technology providers to come together and share best practices for driving safer, faster and more profitable manufacturing and maintaining a solid life-cycle?

It is more important now since there are many unknown variables related to this new technology. It is very important for industry to share ideas and best practices when it comes to protecting their workforce from workplace injuries.  Continue reading Protecting humans from robots in the workplace

Ubisense and Bosch Rexroth launch real-time tracking solution for aerospace industry

ubisense AerospaceToolControl_1

Ubisense, a provider of enterprise location intelligence solutions, and Bosch Rexroth, specialists in drive and control technologies, have joined forces to launch a new system for locating and tracking objects in realtime.

Developed specifically for aerospace assembly lines, the solution combines Bosch Rexroth’s Nexo Cordless Nutrunner and Ubisense’s Smart Factory solutions to offer real-time tracking of tools (Tool Location) and tightening operations (Tool Control).

Ubisense’s readers detect the precise location of tagged Bosch Rexroth tools on the assembly lines at all times, avoiding tools being lost or misplaced with the associated disruption and need to repurchase.  Continue reading Ubisense and Bosch Rexroth launch real-time tracking solution for aerospace industry

NXP to provide smart city technologies to Columbus

nxp smart cities - columbus at night

Columbus to use NXP solutions, including real-time vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems and secure public transportation smart cards for a more intelligent urban transportation system

NXP Semiconductors says its technologies for smart cities, including sophisticated vehicle communications solutions, RFID tagging and Smart Card ICs, play a key role in Columbus, Ohio’s winning proposal for the US Department of Transportation’s (DoT) Smart City Challenge.

NXP, through its partnership with the DoT, is working with Columbus to help deploy wireless technology allowing cars to securely exchange data, prevent accidents and improve traffic flow, as well as Smart Card ICs to make secure public transportation access fast and easy for credit- and cash-economy-based passengers alike.  Continue reading NXP to provide smart city technologies to Columbus

Pennsylvania to legislate on autonomous vehicles

autonomous car

The US state of Pennsylvania has decided to be an early adopter of autonomous cars and speed up the process of legislation surrounding the new technology

Citing the future anticipated benefits to travel safety, the environment and mobility, Pennsylvania Department of Technology (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards recently joined elected, industry and other transportation officials to mark the state’s continued and progressive steps as a national leader in the safe, innovative development of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.

“We are always looking at ways to make travel safer, and these new vehicle technologies offer a huge opportunity to not only advance our network, but also reduce human behavior as a factor in crashes,” Richards said. “We’re looking forward to expanding on the innovation that’s already alive and well here in Pittsburgh so companies can test their technologies in our state’s varied seasons and roadway types.”  Continue reading Pennsylvania to legislate on autonomous vehicles