Raspberry Pi partners with RS Components to expand manufacturing operations to Japan

raspberry pi starter kit

New manufacturing hub in Japan complements UK production operation and expands capacity for famed Raspberry Pi microcomputer

RS Components and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have agreed a deal which will see the latest iteration of the Raspberry Pi 3 credit-card-sized single-board computer being manufactured in Japan under a local contract manufacturing arrangement.

This increase in global production of Raspberry Pi is to serve large and increasing demand for the popular platform in the Asia Pacific region.

William Chong, head of product, supplier, inventory and pricing management, Asia Pacific, RS Components, says: “Existing models of the Raspberry Pi will continue to be manufactured in South Wales, UK, with the dual manufacturing locations in place to cater for future demand growth globally.

“Asia Pacific is a significant growth market for Raspberry Pi, and this new ‘Made in Japan’ element means that we are now geared up for this growth.”  Continue reading Raspberry Pi partners with RS Components to expand manufacturing operations to Japan

Video: Latest list of the world’s leading industrial robot manufacturers

Mitsubishi currently has 70,000 industrial robots installed worldwide, Robotics and Automation News has learned.

As a result, the company is now included in the Robotics and Automation News list of the world’s top industrial robot manufacturers.

Other companies in the new list are Stäubli and Universal, which makes collaborative robots.  Continue reading Video: Latest list of the world’s leading industrial robot manufacturers

Audi smart factory ushers in new era of manufacturing

Audi has opened what it calls a “smart factory”, in Mexico, the first such plant opened by a leading automaker in that country.

Professor Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi, says: “The plant in Mexico is a milestone in the history of our company and an important step in our internationalization.

“It is one of the most modern factories on the American continent. With this facility, we have established an important site for the export of our automobiles to customers all over the world.”  Continue reading Audi smart factory ushers in new era of manufacturing

Cambridge Consultants demonstrates tiny robot small enough to assist in eye operations

Cambridge Consultants has been demonstrating a tiny robot which is small enough to assist in eye surgery.

The company says the “Axsis” robot heralds “the next wave of surgical robotics innovation.

Propelling surgical innovation to the next stage, product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants is showcasing Axsis – one of the smallest known robots for surgical use. With an external body the size of a drinks can and instruments only 1.8 millimetres in diameter, Axsis provides a glimpse into the future of surgical robotics.  Continue reading Cambridge Consultants demonstrates tiny robot small enough to assist in eye operations

New flavour of Robot Operating System launched

A new version of the Robot Operating System has been launched, and this is one for the machines. 

Officially called the Hardware Robot Operating System, the new solution is described as “a standardized software and hardware infrastructure to easily create reusable and reconfigurable robot hardware parts”.

Writing on Robohub.org, Victor Vilches, CTO of Erle Robotics and a researcher at the Open Source Robotics Foundation, says H-ROS means “constructing robots will no longer be restricted to a small elite with high technical skills”.

H-ROS was initially funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency through the Robotics Fast Track program in 2016 and developed by Erle Robotics.

Infineon launches what it claims is the first-of-its-kind online engineering prototype design application

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Infineon Technologies has launched the first online prototyping engine combining analog and digital simulation functionalities in an internet application.

Infineon Designer requires a web browser only, and the company says it is “a perfect match for supporting customers in selecting the right product for a defined application”.

Infineon Designer works intuitively in a very short time, and neither installation nor licenses are needed, according to the company.  Continue reading Infineon launches what it claims is the first-of-its-kind online engineering prototype design application

Opinion: ‘How data science and machine learning will save lives on the roads’

toyota car
Toyota is recalling 5.8 million cars globally to replace potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata, according to the IBTimes.co.uk

By Sundeep Sanhavi, CEO of Data RPM, who claims data science and machine learning will save lives in this exclusive article for Robotics and Automation News

Recalls happen all too frequently, often as a result of some horrendous accident or incident. But there are ways in which the predictive qualities of data science and machine learning can relegate recalls to the annals of history. 

“A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph,” explains the Narrator in the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club.

“The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.”

Edward Norton’s chilling performance aside, vehicle recalls are a persistent problem. Their persistence – given the increasing availability of improved technology and insight – is baffling.  Continue reading Opinion: ‘How data science and machine learning will save lives on the roads’

RoboDK updates industrial robot simulation application

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RoboDK industrial robot simulation software has been given an extensive update

RoboDK has launched the latest version of its industrial robot simulation application. 

The company’s CEO, Albert Nubiola, says the software is now much faster and easier to learn and use.

He adds that RoboDK is working on producing more video tutorials and manuals. “RoboDK has been updated to better integrate into smart factories and Industry 4.0 networks.

“The RoboDK software enables your robots and your factory to automatically adjust processes according to any modifications, as well as accurately merge the virtual simulation with the physical world.”

Audi to test new autonomous driving technology

Audi A7 piloted driving concept

German automaker calls its autonomous technology “piloted driving”

Twelve months after the launch of the “Digital Motorway Test Bed”, Audi has presented new technologies for what it calls “piloted driving” and connected cars at the German Federal Ministry of Transport. 

The connected car aspect of the presentation will deal with car-to-x technology, with the “x” denoting anything – other vehicles and infrastructure, for example.

Audi says it will concentrate on “online variable message” road signs and infrastructure measures. One of the more difficult problems for autonomous car developers is teaching machines how to tell the difference between traffic lights and other lights, for example.  Continue reading Audi to test new autonomous driving technology

Robots are positively impacting our world, says Aethon

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By Anthony Melanson, vice president of marketing, Aethon

Autonomous mobile robots and self-driving vehicles are part of our world. How should you judge them?

Robotics headlines are everywhere: “China’s Impending Robot Revolution”, “IFR Report Offers Good News for Robot Developers,” and “Can Robotics Spark a Renaissance in American Manufacturing”.

There’s little question that self-driving robots, drones and other automated vehicles are integral to the present and future success of organizations in a wide-variety of sectors.

Self-driving cars are on a tremendous innovation curve and it will be exciting to see them develop. From healthcare to industrial material handling, robots are positively impacting our world. Continue reading Robots are positively impacting our world, says Aethon

Can foreign tech companies win in China?

tech in asia
Picture by Andre Gunawan, Tech in Asia

China-based investment expert Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng, considers the fortunes of outside tech companies entering China

Clearly, China’s regulatory regime regarding the internet, in particular social media, is far more restrictive than that of the US and many other western countries in general.

The “Great Firewall” has proven itself repeatedly to be a thorn in the side of foreign companies, and not all have been able to overcome this hurdle.

Most have tried, but with varying degrees of success.  Continue reading Can foreign tech companies win in China?

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing? What’s the difference?

3d-printed-ball
A 3D-printed ball. Picture credit: Pixabay.com

“Additive manufacturing” is increasingly used interchangeably with “3D printing”, so they essentially mean the same thing. The only difference seems to be that “3D printing” is used more by maker communities – hobbyists and inventors – and still retains some sort of novelty value, whereas “additive manufacturing” – despite being the newer term – is more likely to be preferred in industry circles, perhaps because it has the sound of an established technology. 

But it’s not really an “established” technology in the sense that it’s only been around for a relatively short time. According to 3DPrintingIndustry.com, it was only in 2007 that a 3D printer was available for less than $10,000 – from a company called 3D Systems, which is today one of the most well-known providers of the technology.

The most advanced 3D printers still cost quite a lot of money, especially those used by high-end manufacturers, but there are good-quality, entry-level machines available today for as little as a few hundred dollars.  Continue reading Additive manufacturing or 3D printing? What’s the difference?

Industrial internet: Connecting motors to the Internet of Things

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Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial equipment supplier EU Automation discusses how new developments help bring legacy systems forward

In the last few years, fitness tracking technology has been increasingly popular, with a range of devices available to help you become healthier, improve your fitness performance and ultimately live longer.

These devices use non-invasive, easy to use sensors that connect directly to your smartphone or computer, giving you instant results to track your progress. At this year’s Hanover Messe, a new ABB demonstrated a new fitness tracker. Only this time, it’s a fitness tracker for industrial motors.

At this year’s Hanover fair, ABB revealed that it has developed a smart sensor that can monitor the condition of a Low Voltage (LV) motor. This development consists of two parts; the sensor and the software.  Continue reading Industrial internet: Connecting motors to the Internet of Things

Chinese energy company employs Sawyer industrial robot from Rethink Robotics

Five Sawyer robots power flexible production in smart metering, power distribution and energy management 

Wasion Group, a provider of integrated solutions in smart metering, smart power distribution and energy management in China and international markets, has deployed Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer industrial robot on its assembly line for manufacturing single-phase energy meters.

Wasion is moving forward with smart manufacturing initiatives by leveraging smart, collaborative Sawyer robots that are easy to deploy and can meet the precision specifications for the companies’ factories.

Wasion is said to produce 35 million units of various smart metering, power and energy management equipment annually. With a diversified product portfolio, Wasion’s production lines need to accommodate a variety of products in lower volumes.  Continue reading Chinese energy company employs Sawyer industrial robot from Rethink Robotics

Darpa-backed company demonstrates semi-autonomous plane co-piloted by a robot

Aurora demonstrates advanced robot system on a Diamond DA-42, Cessna Caravan and Bell UH-1 helicopter as part of Darpa autonomous aircraft program

Aurora Flight Sciences is reaching new technological heights in the world of automated flight through its work on the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (Alias) program.

On October 17 Aurora demonstrated automated flight capabilities with Alias flying a Cessna Caravan through basic maneuvers under the supervision of a pilot.

Aurora’s Alias technology has now been successfully demonstrated on three separate aircraft, from three original equipment manufacturers, in less than twelve months.  Continue reading Darpa-backed company demonstrates semi-autonomous plane co-piloted by a robot