Vertical farms in urban areas ready to grow after harvesting tons of seed money

Even if you’ve never heard the term before, you probably understand what “vertical farming” is. 

Unlike some buzz phrases, it sounds like what it means – farms built upwards, inside a building on multiple levels, unlike traditional farms, which occupy large, flat, single-level fields, covering thousands of acres of earth if done on an industrial scale.

The concept of vertical farms has been around a long time, but perhaps only now is the technology available to sustain the sector commercially.  Continue reading Vertical farms in urban areas ready to grow after harvesting tons of seed money

Robotics investment fund claims 40 per cent returns in one year

A robotics investment fund claims it has seen returns of almost 40 per cent since it was established a year ago, according to a report on Business Insider

Botz is a Nadaq-listed exchange-traded fund, which has holdings in a variety of companies in the robotics and artificial intelligence sectors.

ETFs are like shares in a collection of different companies – usually in a particular sector such as robotics and AI – and they are sold as though they were shares in one company.  Continue reading Robotics investment fund claims 40 per cent returns in one year

Mouser Electronics to distribute Robotis components

Mouser Electronics has reached a global agreement with Robotis to distribute the company’s components, which include a range of controllers, servo motors, industrial actuators, and open-source development boards. 

The Robotis portfolio is now available from Mouser Electronics, although it’s not clear whether complete versions of the company’s humanoid robots and its TurtleBot will be sold through Mouser.

Robotis’ OpenCM9.04 open-source controllers run on an STMicroelectronics STM32 F1 microcontroller with a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 core.  Continue reading Mouser Electronics to distribute Robotis components

WesTec returns to Los Angeles with a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce

WesTec returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center September 12-14. 

WesTec is a manufacturing forum presenting the latest in advanced manufacturing technology including precision machining, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, software and digital technologies, advanced materials, tooling and more.

Produced by SME and the Association For Manufacturing Technology, WesTec will showcase and provide hands-on interaction with the latest cutting-edge technologies, global industry leaders addressing the hottest topics and major manufacturing companies bringing their best products, technology and services.  Continue reading WesTec returns to Los Angeles with a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce

Opinion: Digitalization, big data, artificial intelligence, agility… what really creates value for industrial companies?

By Vincent Champain, GE Digital

For years industrial companies have been looking for opportunities to enhance the operational efficiency of their assets and processes.

Unsurprisingly, new technologies and agile working have opened a new world of possibilities to the manufacturing sector.

In recent years, new technologies, such as big data and artificial intelligence, have considerably impacted the way industrial companies operate, leading to an increasing number of players in the industry embracing the trend of digitalization.  Continue reading Opinion: Digitalization, big data, artificial intelligence, agility… what really creates value for industrial companies?

Opinion: Materials handling automation and robotics requires IIoT monitoring

By John Hayes, Vecna Robotics

There is a frequent complaint of Industry 4.0, Big Data, and the Industrial Internet of Things. Too much data, little of which can be accessed and used effectively.

From tuggers, automated guided carts, and automated guided vehicles, there is a real need to include IIoT monitoring which defines the next phase of automation and robotics in materials handling.

Without IIoT monitoring, plant managers, operations managers, logistics coordinators throughout manufacturing and distribution sectors lack the data collected which offers real-time continuous status and health information.  Continue reading Opinion: Materials handling automation and robotics requires IIoT monitoring

Largest robotics and automation investment fund now has $1 billion in assets under management

ROBO, believed to be the first robotics and automation exchange traded fund, has reached a new milestone in terms of its assets under management.

Index provider ROBO Global, which has holdings in more than 100 listed companies, says investors have embraced its dedicated focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF recently surpassed $1 billion in assets under management, and its managers say it has achieved the psychologically significant benchmark less than four years after launching.  Continue reading Largest robotics and automation investment fund now has $1 billion in assets under management

DHL could stop Amazon from taking over the world. Probably

It’s not a glamorous business, logistics. Doesn’t make the mainstream news very often. And it’s not likely to be the top career choice for most people. 

It’s understandable. After all, how interesting can it be to move boxes from point A to point B?

Put like that, it’s not much to write home about. But now, with driverless vehicles everywhere, augmented reality glasses and exoskeletons for warehouse workers, and robotics and automation technologies of all kinds promising to transform the industry worldwide, logistics is about to get much more interesting.  Continue reading DHL could stop Amazon from taking over the world. Probably

Top 10 graphics processing unit manufacturers: Nvidia clearly in the lead

The whole world seems set on a course which will take everyone into a highly automated, robotic and artificially intelligent future. 

And much of the hardware used in the vehicles driving us to that utopia-like future is being supplied by Nvidia.

By many expert accounts, the chipmaker has taken a clear lead in the chip market and its processors are often the first choice for engineers building solutions in virtually all the current breakthrough technologies – from blockchain and cryptocurrencies to advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous cars.  Continue reading Top 10 graphics processing unit manufacturers: Nvidia clearly in the lead

Billion-dollar industrial estate to feature data centre infrastructure as part of its offering

In what might be a sign that traditional industry is increasingly becoming digital, the developer of an industrial estate is making telecommunications and data processing a fundamental component of its offering. 

Traditionally, the priority for industrial estates have been to provide good road and other transport networks. Nowadays, data networks are sometimes even more important to companies of all types – including those in the manufacturing sector.

Bannon Investment Group, which is developing the 85-acre Elk Grove Technology Park near Chicago O’Hare Airport, says the estate will one of the largest of its kind in the US.  Continue reading Billion-dollar industrial estate to feature data centre infrastructure as part of its offering

Technically speaking, South Korea just introduced world’s first ‘robot tax’

It was kind of funny when the idea of asking robots to pay their fair share of taxes was first floated, but it seems some are taking it seriously. 

Bill Gates was one of the first to talk about it, but not many probably took him all that seriously.

But then, not many people take the universal basic income idea seriously either, but some countries have already introduced it.  Continue reading Technically speaking, South Korea just introduced world’s first ‘robot tax’

Qualcomm and Apple’s legal battle may indicate the future of cars, as Foxconn looks to build driverless tech factory

The legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple may portend the future direction of car technology.

Qualcomm says Apple manufacturers are not paying the correct amount of money for the chipmaker’s intellectual property the iPhone maker is licensing – basically they’re not paying anything.

The lower, or absent, payments probably account for Qualcomm’s patent licensing business falling 42 per cent this year, according to CNBC.  Continue reading Qualcomm and Apple’s legal battle may indicate the future of cars, as Foxconn looks to build driverless tech factory

Intel to build fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles

Determined not to miss out like it did on the smartphone revolution, Intel is developing 100 of its own autonomous cars. 

Intel is still the largest chipmaker in the world in many sectors but in mobile computing technology, other companies have taken the lead.

But there’s not many things as mobile as a road-going vehicle, and newer versions of them need more chips than ever.  Continue reading Intel to build fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles

New aircraft manufacturer Boom Supersonic building superfast plane using Stratasys 3D printing systems

A new aircraft manufacturer called Boom Supersonic is developing aeroplanes which can fly at speeds of almost 1,500 miles per hour. 

The design of Boom’s planes are reminiscent of the Concorde, the world’s first supersonic commercial jet airliner, operational from 1969 to 2003.

But unlike the Concorde, Boom Supersonic’s planes are likely to feature numerous components produced using 3D printing, a technology which didn’t exist when Concorde was flying.  Continue reading New aircraft manufacturer Boom Supersonic building superfast plane using Stratasys 3D printing systems

Industrial internet technical standards groups form alliance

Two of the leading industrial internet technical standards groups have formed an alliance which is likely to accelerate the development of technologies in the sector.

The Industrial Internet Consortium and the Edge Computing Consortium have signed a partnership agreement – technically a memorandum of understanding – to advance the industrial Internet and edge computing.

Under the agreement, the consortia say they will work together to “maximize interoperability and portability for the industrial Internet”.  Continue reading Industrial internet technical standards groups form alliance