Robotic gripper soft enough to change light bulbs without breaking them

How many robots does it take to screw in a light bulb?

The answer: just one, assuming you’re talking about a new robotic gripper developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego.

The engineering team has designed and built a gripper that can pick up and manipulate objects without needing to see them and needing to be trained.  Continue reading Robotic gripper soft enough to change light bulbs without breaking them

Lufthansa Technik unveils robot that can scan and fix a plane’s outer layer tiles

 

Lufthansa Technik has demonstrated a robot which can scan the outer later of aeroplanes and work at odd angles to help with any necessary maintenance and repair jobs. 

Lufthansa Technik generally fixes planes for its parent company Lufthansa, one of the world’s largest airlines, and undertakes work for a variety of aerospace companies.

The new robot is part of the Caire project – short for Composite Adaptable Inspection and Repair – which includes airline industry companies such as Airbus and Lufthansa Technik. Continue reading Lufthansa Technik unveils robot that can scan and fix a plane’s outer layer tiles

RIA partners with OSHA and NIOSH to create unpronounceable robot group

 

The Robotics Industries Association is partnering with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to create a new standards body for robotics and other relevant industries. 

RIA is the main industrial robotics association in the US and was established in 1974.

OSHA and NIOSH are both government agencies – OSHA is under the Department of Labour, and NIOSH is under the Department of Health and Human Services.  Continue reading RIA partners with OSHA and NIOSH to create unpronounceable robot group

Japanese companies prepare to bring forward new generation of humanoid collaborative robots capable of a variety of industrial work

 

There was a time when Japanese electronics companies were the Apples and Googles of the world, with everyone buying their products and talking about them in the media.

Many of those same formerly pre-eminent names today play second fiddle to the Silicon Valley tech giants.

But while they may not be discussed as much as they were in the past – and their products not as ubiquitous in the consumer market – Japanese companies still loom large in the industrial sector.  Continue reading Japanese companies prepare to bring forward new generation of humanoid collaborative robots capable of a variety of industrial work

Kinova Robotics raises $25 million for expansion plans

 

Kinova Robotics, a designer and manufacturer of robotic solutions, has raised additional funds of $25 million for further expansion.

The money came from four major contributors, including lead investor Fonds Manufacturier Québécois; co-investors KTB Network, and Foxconn; and BDC Capital, the investment arm of BDC.

Kinova says 90 per cent of its business is exports, so establishing an office outside its native Canada is a priority.

Kinova CEO Charles Deguire says: “We want our users to achieve the extraordinary with our robots – creating more value for themselves and our society.  Continue reading Kinova Robotics raises $25 million for expansion plans

ABB robot hatches 30 per cent more eggs for Singapore egg farm

 

Growing demand for locally-farmed eggs prompted Seng Choon Farm, to turn to automation in an effort to increase its production capacity

In April this year, ABB installed and commissioned a robotic palletizing system at Seng Choon Farm’s 36 acre site in north-west Singapore, to support increased production output as well as the company’s future expansion plans.

Since then, the robotic palletizing system, that stacks heavy boxes and baskets of eggs onto pallets, has raised the farm’s productivity by 30 per cent.

Before the robotic system was installed, workers would manually stack the cartons and baskets of eggs onto the pallets, with a single worker lifting about 15 tons of eggs a day.  Continue reading ABB robot hatches 30 per cent more eggs for Singapore egg farm

Fujitsu highlights advances in AI, robotics and cloud at Oracle OpenWorld

 

Fujitsu is showcasing a number of enterprise innovations at Oracle OpenWorld 2017.

Highlights include an executive solution session with Goro Watanabe, executive vice president, Fujitsu America, on the latest advances in artificial intelligence for business.

Booth visitors can also meet the company’s first commercial robot, which speaks and interacts with people using AI to help it understand human emotions.  Continue reading Fujitsu highlights advances in AI, robotics and cloud at Oracle OpenWorld

World Economic Forum warns of widespread disruption caused by robots

 

The World Economic Forum has warned of widespread disruption caused by robots, in its latest report about global competitiveness. 

In its Global Competitiveness Index 2017, WEF says the most competitive countries are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. United States
  3. Singapore
  4. Netherlands
  5. Germany

The organisation says sustained economic recovery remains at risk due to lack of increases in productivity.  Continue reading World Economic Forum warns of widespread disruption caused by robots

Toyota shows off its progress in robotics, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence

 

Toyota Research Institute has been demonstrating its progress in the development of automated driving technology and other project work to the investor community this week.

Dr Gill Pratt, CEO of TRI, says: “In the last few months, we have rapidly accelerated our pace in advancing Toyota’s automated driving capabilities with a vision of saving lives, expanding access to mobility, and making driving more fun and convenient.

“Our research teams have also been evolving machine intelligence that can support further development of robots for in-home support of people.” Continue reading Toyota shows off its progress in robotics, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence

Tend launches robot performance management software

 

Tend has launched a cloud-based monitoring and analysis application for both industrial and collaborative robots.

The company calls the software in.view, and launched it at the RoboBusiness show in Santa Clara, CA, this week.

Tend in.view – short for intelligent view – software allows users to remotely monitor and analyze the performance of their production robots in real time from any location, through a secure, cloud-based application on their mobile device, says the company.  Continue reading Tend launches robot performance management software

Robotics investment fund grows to $450 million since launch one year ago

 

Global X Funds, the New York-based provider of exchange-traded funds, today celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Global X Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ).

The company says Botz has received considerable interest from investors in its first year, having surpassed $450 million in assets under management.

Botz launched on September 12, 2016 and tracks the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic IndexContinue reading Robotics investment fund grows to $450 million since launch one year ago

Columbia University develops soft actuator three times stronger than human muscle to make robots more lifelike

 

Columbia University says it has developed a self-contained soft actuator that is three times stronger than natural muscle, without the need of externals.

The researchers say the development means robotic motion will be more lifelike, and that it signals a breakthrough in soft robotics.

The creation of untethered soft robots whose actions and movements can help mimic natural biological systems have been a long-standing issue, and the scientists at Columbia Engineering say they have solved it.  Continue reading Columbia University develops soft actuator three times stronger than human muscle to make robots more lifelike

Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Engineering giant Siemens is establishing a robotics research and development centre in China. 

The company says the facility will be a global research centre in autonomous robotics, and is part of its innovation strategy to “master technology fields that are critical for future success”.

Worldwide, Siemens is planning to spend $6 billion this year on R&D, and China is likely to represent a significant portion of that budget.

Siemens says the global research community in its China R&D centre will comprise experienced experts from around the world will focus on:

  • the research and development of new mechatronics systems,
  • human-robot collaboration; and
  • the application of artificial intelligence in robotic controllers.

Continue reading Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Cyberdyne reports 30 per cent more sales for its cyber-physical HAL exoskeleton

The company which claims to have developed “the world’s first cyborg-type robot” when it built the HAL exoskeleton says it sold 30 per cent more units in its most recent year compared with the previous year. 

In its annual report, Cyberdyne says it sold $15 million worth of HAL exoskeletons in the year to March 2017.

In the previous year to March 2016, the company sold just under $12 million worth of the HAL exoskeletons.  Continue reading Cyberdyne reports 30 per cent more sales for its cyber-physical HAL exoskeleton

ABB’s YuMi collaborative robot to conduct classical music orchestra

ABB’s YuMi robot is to conduct a classical music orchestra in a performance in Italy tonight. 

The dual-armed collaborative robot will conduct a famous aria called La Donna è Mobile, from Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.

The singer at the concert will be the famous tenor Andrea Bocelli.  Continue reading ABB’s YuMi collaborative robot to conduct classical music orchestra