Toyota boss says autonomous technology is a paradigm shift – like going from building looms to constructing cars

toyota akio toyoda

Toyota president Akio Toyoda has drawn a parallel between the changes happening in the company now to what happened when Toyota first came into existence.

Toyoda was speaking at a press conference to present the automaker’s financial results. He acknowledged the “many lessons that we learned” through the company’s partnerships with Subaru, BMW and Mazda.

The partnerships were part of the reason for Toyota adopting a new organisational structure. It was also a factor in the company’s decision to establish the Toyota Research Laboratory.  Continue reading Toyota boss says autonomous technology is a paradigm shift – like going from building looms to constructing cars

UK’s first driverless car trials invites public to register

Britain’s first autonomous car trials are set to take place later this year in Greenwich, and members of the public are being invited to participate

Members of the public can now register to take part in the UK’s first public driverless vehicle trials, due to take place later this year.

The trials, which will take place in Greenwich, London, are part of the GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) project – an £8 million research project to investigate the use, perception and acceptance of autonomous vehicles in the UK.  Continue reading UK’s first driverless car trials invites public to register

Stäubli to host series of events about robotics in automotive industry

stäubli robotics suite
Screenshot of Stäubli Robotics Suite 2016

Stäubli will be hosting Automotive Technology Days 2016 in Novi, Michigan at the Suburban Collection Showplace from May 24th to the 25th.

The company says its Automotive Technology Days will be an “exciting event geared towards those automotive professionals who want to maximize profit and value in their workflows”.

Stäubli’s industry experts will be present to demonstrate how their top of the line robotic technology can improve productivity with clean, consistent, high performance robots. 

The company also wants to show off the latest version of its Stäubli Robotics Suite 2016, a PC software suite for robotics application development and maintenance.

Continue reading Stäubli to host series of events about robotics in automotive industry

Volvo Cars to launch UK’s ‘largest and most ambitious’ autonomous driving trial

volvo cars

Volvo Cars is to begin what the company is calling “the UK’s most ambitious autonomous driving trial” next year to speed up the introduction of a technology.

Volvo says autonomous car technology “promises to massively reduce car accidents” as well as free up congested roads and save drivers valuable time.

The Swedish company, which has been known for automotive safety ever since it invented the three-point seatbelt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems globally as part of its commitment that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.  Continue reading Volvo Cars to launch UK’s ‘largest and most ambitious’ autonomous driving trial

Autonomous car technology could reduce insurance premiums by $20 billion

volvo autonomous car
Volvo XC90 Drive Me autonomous drive technology test vehicle

The multi-billion pound motor insurance industry faces a period of radical restructuring as a result of the advent of autonomous car technology, says Volvo

The number of vehicle crashes is set to drop by 80 per cent by 2035 and insurance premiums set to plummet. These were among the issues raised at a high-level panel discussion organised by Volvo Cars and Thatcham Research.

Research by Swiss Re and Here released earlier this month calculated that autonomous drive technologies could wipe $20 billion off insurance premiums globally by 2020 alone. At present, motor insurance generates 42 per cent of all non-life gross premiums, the largest single slice of global premiums.  Continue reading Autonomous car technology could reduce insurance premiums by $20 billion

Kuka to unveil three ‘innovative’ research projects at ICRA event

kuka youbot
The Kuka youBot, an omnidirectional, mobile platform, on which a five-axis robot arm is mounted with two-finger gripper

Kuka says it will be presenting “three innovative corporate research projects” at one of the world’s largest robotics conferences.

The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Stockholm offers researchers from across the globe a platform to present innovative solutions. Kuka is a sponsor of ICRA.

Dr Rainer Bischoff, head of Kuka corporate research, says: “At ICRA, we will not only be showcasing our latest technological developments, but we will also be taking a broader view to discuss new scientific approaches for developing innovative ideas in the future as well.”

Stefan Lampa, CEO of Kuka Robotics, adds: “Innovations are the driving force for the growth of a company. They strengthen the product portfolio and help to open up new markets.”  Continue reading Kuka to unveil three ‘innovative’ research projects at ICRA event

SSI Schaefer presents a new shuttle system for bins and cartons

schaefer cuby

SSI Schaefer has unveiled a new shuttle system for bins and cartons in time for CeMAT

Schaefer has launched its Cuby shuttle system just in time for CeMAT 16, which takes place from 31 May to 3 June in Hannover, Germany.

Schaefer’s one-level shuttle system Cuby is designed for bins and cartons up to 35 kg, which rounds out their product range in this segment.  Continue reading SSI Schaefer presents a new shuttle system for bins and cartons

Apex Automation and Robotics uses 3D vision to inspect food jars

apex 3D Vision

Apex Automation and Robotics has introduced 3D vision systems to inspect food jars on production lines

A popped lid in a food jar is a serious problem. It indicates that the seal is broken and vacuum inside the jar was breached and can result in spoilage of the product. It is therefore crucial to detect these jars before they leave production and make their way to the supermarket shelf.

Inspecting the lid on every jar by an operator is not very reliable since it is not always easy to distinguish between a popped lid and a good one especially when the production rate is high. Continue reading Apex Automation and Robotics uses 3D vision to inspect food jars

RE2 delivers two-armed robot to US Army

resquared robotics

RE2 Robotics has delivered a two-arm Highly Dexterous Manipulation System (HDMS) to the US Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) under an Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II extension contract. 

Robotic systems for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) typically include a single manipulator to perform critical tasks such as inspection, detection, and neutralization of explosive devices. These manipulators are often limited in their dexterity, reach and lifting capacity.  Continue reading RE2 delivers two-armed robot to US Army

Detroit to host experts in automotive robotics trends

Tesla auto industrial robots

The US automotive manufacturing sector buys one in every two industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robots. 

Therefore, being able to spot emerging the trends in the use of robots in the automotive industry is important to industrial robot manufacturers.

Robotics and Automation News is partnering with LBCG, a company which is organising a new automotive event, scheduled to take place in Detroit, mid-August.  Continue reading Detroit to host experts in automotive robotics trends

Logistics companies utilising robotics and automation at ports to optimise operations

cemat ports forum

This season’s CeMAT Port Forum is themed Seaports as Opportunities for Logistics Chain Optimization and will feature high-power speakers from government, port companies and port customers.

Keynote topics this year include shippers’ rising expectations of the quality and punctuality of international and intermodal logistics chains and the growing capacity shortages in hinterland infrastructure, as well as robotics and automation. Intralogistics topics will also be on the agenda.

Port operators are increasingly meeting these challenges through ongoing investment in modern handling, warehousing and IT technology. Moreover, logistics companies are increasingly exploring new robotics and automation technology for ports and warehousing operations.  Continue reading Logistics companies utilising robotics and automation at ports to optimise operations

Virtual assistants prepare to take over the world of work

Dennis Mortensen, CEO, x.ai,
Dennis Mortensen, CEO, x.ai, pictured in the Wall Street area of New York, US

Exclusive interview with Dennis Mortensen, founder and CEO of intelligent assistants technology developer x.ai 

Virtual assistants, or intelligent assistants, are multiplying by the day. Currently there are around a dozen really well-known ones, such as Siri and Cortana, and then there’s several dozen other reasonably well-known ones talking or otherwise communicating their way into the public consciousness.

These intelligent assistants can be placed in at least 10 different categories, such as text and chatbots, personal advisors, and employee assistants.

Of these, perhaps the most commercially profitable is the employee assistants category. And within this segment, the virtual assistance technology that arguably holds most promise is the one produced by x.ai – in part because among its investors is SoftBank, the Japanese communications giant behind Pepper, the cloud-connected humanoid robot which is claimed to be able to discern human emotions and communicate appropriately.  Continue reading Virtual assistants prepare to take over the world of work

IdeaHub launches robotics challenge with ABB

abb yumi

IdeaHub is recruiting robotics and software innovators worldwide to take on the challenge of improving the way humans work and interact with the next generation of industrial robots.

Working on behalf of ABB Robotics, IdeaHub will help successful applicants pitch their ideas and secure uniquely tailored support packages to maximise their venture’s commercial potential, including investment, mentoring and access to cutting edge hardware.

IdeaHub is a cross sector, open innovation platform that connects visionaries worldwide with funding and support from global corporations.  Continue reading IdeaHub launches robotics challenge with ABB

ABB buys SVIA to strengthen robotics and automation offering

svia robotic work cell

ABB has acquired SVIA, a provider in the fast-growing market of robot automation cells for machine tending.

SVIA, headquartered in Jönköping, Sweden, builds automated solutions for machine tending processes, using robots to feed components to lathes and mills, and to secondary processes like assembly, washing and part marking.

SVIA has a portfolio of over 800 machine tending cell solutions which integrate robotic automation to increase the productivity, flexibility and quality of manufacturing.  Continue reading ABB buys SVIA to strengthen robotics and automation offering

Nachi to open giant facility in Thailand

nachi thailand plant
How the Nachi-Fujikoshi plant in Thailand will look when it’s finished

Nachi is building a manufacturing subsidiary in Thailand to capitalise on the growing Asean market. 

The company is one of the largest industrial robot manufacturers in the world, and is looking in particular towards the automotive sector for further growth opportunities.

Nachi says the Thailand plant will be “making forged and turned parts inside Asean market member states, where medium and long term expansion of automotive production is expected”.

Nachi-Fujikoshi is now promoting a “regional production for regional supply” in foreign market areas.  Continue reading Nachi to open giant facility in Thailand