Industry 4.0: Comau signs deal with EII to develop predictive maintenance solutions

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Companies plan to jointly develop hardware and software solutions for the proactive maintenance of machines

Engineering Ingegneria Informatica and robot-maker Comau have signed a global cooperation agreement to develop and market solutions for predictive maintenance based on modular hardware and software and designed to acquire and analyze field data – through the internet of things, and big data analytics. 

The companies say these solutions are targeted at the manufacturing industry and in particular, and companies operating in the automotive, industrial manufacturing, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and white goods sectors, and conform to the Industry 4.0 paradigm.

From a technical point of view, the solutions developed by the two partner companies seek to predict the potential occurrence of malfunctions or a full stop of the machines, and to intercept negative trends in production process quality, or predictive maintenance system.  Continue reading Industry 4.0: Comau signs deal with EII to develop predictive maintenance solutions

BMW to start research with IBM Watson artificial intelligence system

Auto giant to locate research team at IBM’s Munich Watson IoT HQ, as computing colossus explores conversational interfaces in BMW i8 hybrid sports cars

IBM has entered into a new collaboration with the BMW Group, through which the companies will work together to explore the role of Watson cognitive computing in personalizing the driving experience and creating more intuitive driver support systems for cars of the future.

As part of the agreement, the BMW Group will collocate a team of researchers at IBM’s global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, Germany and the companies will work together explore how to improve intelligent assistant functions for drivers.

IBM recently pledged to invest $200 million to make its new Munich center one of the world’s most advanced facilities for collaborative innovation as part of a global investment of $3 billion to bring Watson cognitive computing to the Internet of Things.  Continue reading BMW to start research with IBM Watson artificial intelligence system

Nasa places order with SSL for robotic spacecraft which will fix satellites in orbit

New craft will be used to service satellites out in space 

Nasa has placed an order with Space Systems Loral for a robotic spacecraft which will go and fix satellites while in orbit. 

Nasa calls it the Restore-L servicing mission, and it is designed to demonstrate the ability to extend the life of a satellite in Low Earth Orbit. Scheduled launch is in 2020.

The Restore-L spacecraft will use robotics to grasp, refuel and relocate an existing US government satellite already in LEO orbit with the goal of demonstrating tools, technologies and techniques that can be implemented on future government and commercial missions.  Continue reading Nasa places order with SSL for robotic spacecraft which will fix satellites in orbit

Brains trust: The impact of robotics on neurosurgery

In this exclusive article, Stuart Campbell, clinical sales development manager of the neurological products division at Renishaw, discusses key trends on the use of robotics in neurosurgery

The curious case of Phineas Gage is one of the earliest and most well known cases of serious brain injury. On September 13th, 1848, Gage was working as a railway foreman in Vermont when an explosion caused a three foot long iron rod to be propelled straight through his skull.

At the time, doctors thought it impossible to survive such an injury and his remarkable survival and reported personality changes affected the study of neuroscience forever. In recent years, a new technology is changing the face of neuroscience – robotics, which offers high precision access to a complex and sensitive region.

Industrial environments are rife with automation and robotic systems. The upwards trend is only increasing, with the International Federation of Robotics predicting that by 2018, 1.3 million industrial robots will be entering service in factories across the globe.  Continue reading Brains trust: The impact of robotics on neurosurgery

Connected cars: Driving the future

By Andrew Till, vice president, technology, partnerships and new solutions, Harman Connected Services

Of all the day-to-day aspects of our lives, transport looks set to experience some of the most dramatic changes as the Internet of Things progresses.

It will impact everything from the driving experience to the very concept of car ownership. And with those changes comes a huge amount of opportunity for car manufacturers, cloud providers and telecommunications companies.

The potential that the IoT holds for the automotive market is only going to increase as new technology reaches the market. It’s set to come into its own once we see vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications systems and cars with true “hands off” autonomous driving capabilities hitting the road, but even now the fundamentals are in place.  Continue reading Connected cars: Driving the future

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’

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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