Category Archives: Magazine

Effects of artificial intelligence will surpass the industrial revolution, says SoftBank CEO

The chief executive of telecommunications giant SoftBank says the effects of artificial intelligence will take the world much further and have a more profound effect than even the industrial revolution. 


An old picture of Masayoshi Son, courtesy of Wikipedia

In an article accompanying a special edition of the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son was quoted as saying the new “information revolution” is being partly driven by data collected through billions of sensors.

SoftBank has been buying up a variety of AI and robotics startups, most recently a company called Nauto, which is developing systems for driverless cars.

At the root of the technology, Son says, are microprocessors and microcontrollers. “Those who rule chips will rule the entire world,” he said. “Those who rule data will rule the entire world. That’s what people of the future will say.”

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    Inadvertent or not, Japan is providing a starting point for the relentless march of the robots toward total global domination.  The…
    Tags: robotics, ai, will, revolution, technology, artificial, industrial, people, intelligence, future
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    Japanese communications giant SoftBank is to acquire ARM Holdings for £24.3 billion, according to a report on the Financial Times…
    Tags: softbank, company, technology, son, partly, masayoshi, intelligence, artificial, giant, robotics
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    By Abdul Razack, SVP of platforms, big data and analytics at Infosys In 2011, Apple’s Siri began guiding, following, organizing,…
    Tags: ai, will, technology, artificial, intelligence, people, revolution, future

Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’

augmented-reality-glasses atheer

By Douglas Bruey, electrical engineering program lead at Synapse

At first glance, a gamer playing Pokémon Go has little in common with a surgeon saving lives in an operating theatre. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that might not be the case for much longer.

Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are poised to open up a whole new world of opportunities. We’re already seeing the effects of VR when it comes to gaming. But in future could AR add a new dimension to surgery?

AR and VR both have the ability to alter our perception of the world. AR takes our current reality and adds something to it – virtual objects or information. VR, on the other hand, immerses us in a different – virtual – world. 

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China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

open pit lithium mine

An open pit lithium mine. Picture courtesy of The Future of Energy

The market for electric cars in China is huge already and it’s growing at almost an exponential rate annually. 

Commentators in the country include electric cars in the category called “new energy vehicles”, which also refers to hybrid energy vehicles, and are saying the market will be further accelerated as a result of government backing.

Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng management consultancy, says: “With the issuance in April 2017 of the Automotive Industry Mid to Long Term Development Plan, the Ministry for Industry and Information Technology provides guiding principles for the development of China’s auto industry for the next decade. 

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TheConstruct launches new training courses for Robot Operating System

construct ros industrial

TheConstruct has launched several new courses for people who want to learn to use the Robot Operating System. 

The online simulation environment provider has two courses, in particular, which may interest readers of this website.

One of them is called ROS Autonomous Vehicles 101, and the other is ROS-Industrial 101. Both are available through the website,

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You could be seeing things that aren’t there: Google Glass finds new home in old industries

google glass with manual

On the left is an assembly engine manual that GE’s mechanics used to consult. Now they use Glass Enterprise Edition on the right. Picture: Google X

About four years ago, when Google first showed off its Glass product – a pair of hi-tech spectacles capable of running augmented reality apps – it was met with some scepticism, incredulity even. 

Few people thought it would take off, as interesting as the idea was. Maybe people generally couldn’t see themselves walking around wearing glasses which could be seen as intrusive.

Theoretically, Google Glass could display images on pretty much everything and everyone you looked at while wearing them – and would people in your eyeline appreciate that? 

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    Husqvarna, which makes robotic lawn mowers and demolition robots among other things, has launched a virtual reality game for lumberjacks. Probably…
    Tags: reality, find, glasses, augmented, industry, company
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    Nick Boughton, sales manager at Boulting Technology, discusses best practice for obsolescence management from a systems integrator point of view…
    Tags: manufacturing, glass, company, companies, hands, work, find, industry
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    New business models are emerging as enterprises and solution providers get ready for the next generation of mobile networks, according…
    Tags: reality, industry, augmented, manufacturing

PLC vs PAC: Similar but not the same

arnold machine

By Zach Arnold, founder, Arnold Machine

Programmable logic controllers, or PLCs, and programmable automation controllers, or PACs, are similar as they both perform the same essential functions. But with modern technology, their differences are becoming more blurred. 

The most notable difference between PLCs and PACs is their programming interface. PACs are more intricate, using C or C++. PLCs on the other hand, are programmed using ladder logic.

These programming differences create distinctions in the architecture and capability between the two computers. 

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Connecting the dots of quantum computing

ibm 4-qubit square circuit

Layout of IBM’s four superconducting quantum bit device announced in 2015. Using a square lattice, IBM is able to detect both types of quantum errors for the first time. (Credit: IBM Research)

By Sachin Garg, associate director, electronics and semiconductors practice, MarketsandMarkets Research

Binary computers helped us to get connected with an entirely new realm of opportunities and possibilities. It took a lot of effort and time to build a computer which can execute multiple tasks and handle massive calculations at the same time.

But despite many innovations and developments, the computing systems currently available are not fast enough in handling complex problems and calculations.

To address this problem, various tech companies and organisations have been developing computing systems which can use quantum concepts to execute complex tasks and solve any problems. 

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What will America’s roads and highways look like in the future?

The New Jersey Institute of Technology has been looking into the future to see how roads and highways will change over the next few years, and found a significant proportion of roadways in a poor state. 

Across the United States, says the NJIT, there are more than 4 million miles of public roadways, and 28 percent are listed as being in “poor condition”.

Throughout those roadways, 61,000 bridges are considered “structurally deficient”.

On top of the needs for rebuilding US roadways, 42 percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, which costs an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. 

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    The US state of Pennsylvania has decided to be an early adopter of autonomous cars and speed up the process of legislation surrounding…
    Tags: will, technology, future, cars, highway, driverless

Kollmorgen and VH Vertical Packaging realise new potential with a separate labeler

The art of reduction: the packaging machines from VH Vertical Packaging have a simple structure

By Jens Depping

A Dutch packaging machinery manufacturer has now developed a labeller as part of a retrofit with servo-drive technology based on 48 volts.

This is designed as an optional module for the company’s own vertical packaging machines on the one hand and as a functional enhancement for retrofitting older machines of well-known producers on the other.

The combination of the new 48 volt DC Servo Motor low voltage from Kollmorgen and a motion control solution from SigmaTek makes it possible for the labeling module to be integrated easily into new machines or for existing machinery to be retrofitted. 

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A giant company built on tiny components: Interview with Bosch industrial internet boss

bosch image

In this interview, Stefan Hartung, a senior member of the board at Bosch, talks extensively about the industrial internet, detailing some of the components and devices the company uses to give old machines a new lease of life, and provides some insight into the company’s plans going forward

Bosch is as relevant in today’s computerised world as it was after the end of the first industrial age, and the company’s main concern now is keeping it that way. 

Its relevance comes from making the power tools and household appliances most readers will be familiar with, and also from its development of ideas and technologies which are likely to shape a future which many of us haven’t even thought about yet.

Nowadays, all the talk is of Industry 4.0, an umbrella term to describe a range of technologies which have at their centre two tiny components: sensors and chips – both of which are Bosch’s essential stock in trade.

And if you want someone to blame for the Industry 4.0 phrase, look no further than Bosch, because it was part of the working group of German industrial giants which coined the term in 2011. 

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Fujitsu extends product portfolio with connectors from Neltron

fujitsu connectors

Fujitsu Electronics Europe is extending its line card portfolio to include products from Neltron Industrial.

The Taiwan-based company manufactures ROHS compliant connectors of various types. With this partnership, FEEU is seeking to widen the range of its offerings and to create new synergies between them, strengthening its role as a Value Added Distribution Partner for the EMEA market.

Neltron offers a broad range of connector types, including board to board, wire to board, wire to wire, FPC/FCC, IDC connectors, shrouded header, USB connectors and jumpers. 

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Toyota showcases its new advanced autonomous car platform to Boston robotics community

Boston has become one of the main centres for robotics technologies in recent years, with many well-known companies emerging from the area. 

Perhaps with this in mind, the Toyota Research Institute decided to showcase its latest developments in autonomous vehicle technology, something it’s calling “Platform 2.0” – basically, its new driverless car – to attendees at the Robotics: Science and Systems conference at MIT.

“This is the first time that we are showing the car off to the Boston-area robotics community,” said a spokesman for TRI. “This new advanced safety research vehicle is the first autonomous testing platform developed entirely by TRI, and reflects the rapid progress of our autonomous driving program.” 

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HMS Industrial launches new smart grid connectivity gateway


New IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS Industrial Networks enable data exchange between infrastructure and energy networks based on IEC61850 or IEC60870-5-104, and common fieldbus and industrial Ethernet systems, says the company.

While industrial communication between devices and systems is typically done with fieldbus and industrial Ethernet, modern infrastructure and energy networks are based upon other protocol standards such as IEC61850 and IEC60870-5-104.

The new IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS address the increasing need for data exchange between these two worlds, offering a wide protocol coverage and easy integration. 

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Dassault Systèmes boss talks about generative design and whether humans are necessary


Damen recently selected Dassault Systèmes software for its engineering design process

Nothing is as straightforward as it might first sound. So, for example, one might imagine that, by using generative design software, a designer could set parameters for the computer to produce a structure and then use a 3D printer to output that structure, whether that structure is a single molecule of steel or a larger, more complex structure, like a car body. Basically, you could get the computer to do almost all of the design work.

The technology is available to do those things. And any designer who’s produced countless iterations of one basic design would certainly appreciate such powerful software. But is it really as simple as that? Probably not.

If anyone would know the answer for sure, it would be Stephen Chadwick, managing director of Dassault Systèmes for the north European region, or EuroNorth, and he says it’s possible to remove humans from the design process completely. 

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WTWH Media buys The Robot Report

therobotreport homepage

Business-to-business publisher WTWH Media has bought The Robot Report for an undisclosed sum. was founded in 2008 by Frank Tobe, and is one of the leading websites in this growing sector of publishing.

The website covers robotics in a variety of business segments, including transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and even outer space.  It has an international perspective, covering many countries around the globe. 

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