Industrial Internet: Ubisense launches new tracking solution for logistics

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Ubisense has released a new version of its “precision zone tracking product”, AngleID, with a range of additional features including the ability to network multiple readers.

These updates increase the area that can be covered to whole buildings and enable even more sophisticated zones to be created.

AngleID was launched in May to offer real-time precision zone tracking, offering a completely new product that sits between passive RFID proximity tracking and real-time location systems (RTLS) exact location tracking.  Continue reading Industrial Internet: Ubisense launches new tracking solution for logistics

Market for agricultural robots and drones to grow to $10 billion, says report

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The market for robots and drones in the agricultural sector is predicted to grow to $10 billion by 2022, according to a new study. 

The report by IDTechEx Research, Agricultural Robots and Drones 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets and Players, says there is already a $3 billion market in 2016, and will rise to $10 billion by 2022.

Some of the promising technologies that are available to help farmers increase yield without negative environmental factors, are to be discussed at a NIAB and Agri-Tech East event – Innovations for Sustainable Intensification, on 14 September in Cambridge, UK.  Continue reading Market for agricultural robots and drones to grow to $10 billion, says report

Renishaw to present latest in advanced manufacturing technology at IMTS

renishaw am 500 3d printing machine

Renishaw, one of the world’s leading engineering and scientific technology companies, will present the latest thinking and developments in metal additive manufacturing at the 2016 Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC), September 13-14, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. 

Marc Saunders, director of Renishaw’s global solutions centres, will deliver a talk on industrialising additive manufacturing at 11am, on Wednesday 14th September, Room W375B.

Marc will explore the chains of linked processes and tools that are required to create an integrated manufacturing process with AM at its heart, and the controls that must be employed to make AM a mainstream manufacturing process.

This year’s AMC is co-located with the International Manufacturing Technology Show (ITMS), where Renishaw will be exhibiting its additive manufacturing systems and metrology products on Booth E-5509.  Continue reading Renishaw to present latest in advanced manufacturing technology at IMTS

Taiwan to showcase new Industry 4.0 projects at IMTS 2016

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Chicago, USA. Picture credit: Pixabay.com

Leaders of Taiwan’s machine tool industry will unveil a series of smart manufacturing initiatives for applications ranging from aircraft part machining to automotive component production at a press conference at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

More than 110 Taiwanese companies will also be exhibiting at the show from September 12-17, including 19 in the Taiwan Pavilion, reflecting the country’s status as the world’s fifth largest exporter of machine tools and components.

The presentation, New Initiatives in the Taiwan Machine Tool Industry, will take plat at
1.30 to 3pm local time, Wednesday, September 14, at the South Building, Level 4, Conference Room S402-A.  Continue reading Taiwan to showcase new Industry 4.0 projects at IMTS 2016

Robots planning to defend world’s oceans against alien invasion

A US non-profit company has designed an innovative method of controlling the spread of lionfish threatening to devastate fish stocks and coral reef ecosystems in warmer ocean waters.

Robots In Service of the Environment (Rise) joined deep ocean research charity, Nekton, on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic to test a prototype being developed to operate remotely in deep water to locate and deliver a fatal electric shock to the invasive species.

Nekton’s research vessel was off the Bermudian coast conducting the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey, a pioneering multi-disciplinary marine research programme assessing the health and resilience of the deep ocean.  Continue reading Robots planning to defend world’s oceans against alien invasion

Industrial robots: Epson Robots signs Cimtec Automation as distributor

Epson’s new SCARA robots
Epson’s new SCARA robots

Epson Robots, which claims to be the top SCARA robot manufacturer in the world, has added Cimtec Automation as the newest member of its growing distribution network.

The agreement includes distribution of all of Epson Robots automation products including their large lineup of SCARA, 6-Axis and Linear Module robots as well as integrated vision, fieldbus I/O and many other industrial automation products offered by Epson Robots.

“With over 25 years of experience, Cimtec Automation has proven themselves as more than just a distributor of products, but as a premier solutions provider in the Industrial Automation market in the Southeastern US and we are proud to have them as a part of our distribution network,” stated Michael Ferrara, director of Epson Robots. Continue reading Industrial robots: Epson Robots signs Cimtec Automation as distributor

Marine robots: AMS ‘Datamarans’ set to provide unprecedented insights into the world’s oceans

The total surface of Planet Earth spans some 510 million square kilometres, and the ocean accounts for more than 70 per cent. If there’s one man who would be familiar with these kind of numbers it’s Eamon Carrig, co-founder and chief roboticist at Autonomous Marine Systems (AMS), a US robotics startup which could scarcely have more compelling origins.

AMS was started by three aerospace engineers – Carrig, T.J. Edwards, and Walter Holemans, although Holemans has since left the company.

“We had all been working together on spacecraft mechanisms – TJ and Walt mostly mechanical, me mostly electrical and software – since 2006,” says Carrig in an exclusive interview with RoboticsandAutomationNews.com.

“Specifically we worked on satellite separation systems, which are the last systems that have to work to get a satellite on orbit. In my career as a sep system engineer, we produced about 15 systems for flight. I would have bet my life on every single system we delivered.” Continue reading Marine robots: AMS ‘Datamarans’ set to provide unprecedented insights into the world’s oceans

Cloud robotics: Talking cloud and saying nothing

Cloud robotics are enabling robots to access large amounts of computing power that their bodies do not have the physical space to accommodate. Hundreds if not tens of thousands of servers are potentially at the service of small robots which can be in remote locations well away from the nearest supercomputer or data centre, only being connected by, for example, Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

This allows robots to call on powerful, cloud-based applications, such as speech recognition and language, when they are interacting with their users.

At the moment, most cloud robotics systems are linked to specific robots. So, for example, SoftBank’s Pepper robot is linked to the cloud robotics artificial intelligence system developed by Cocoro, another SoftBank company.

Pepper has about 25 onboard sensors to collect a wide range of information – sight, sound, touch and movement. That covers three of the five senses that human beings generally use, the two missing are taste and smell.

Pepper can be connected to the internet through Wi-Fi or Ethernet, both of which are incorporated into the robot. Continue reading Cloud robotics: Talking cloud and saying nothing

Robotics platform: Branches of the same Redtree

Robotics enthusiasts, or makers as they are often referred to, is a global community that is growing all the time. Along with it, the demand for chipsets specifically designed for robots is also expanding. 

Compared to the large number of makers out there, there’s not many chipsets specifically designed for robots – Arduino and Raspberry Pi being the most well known. In fact, a quick search on Google yielded very few results of new chipset makers, and most of them talked of plans but no actual product in existence right now.

Top of the list, however, was Redtree Robotics. The Canadian company is the maker of the Redtree Hydra, which it says is “the definitive chipset for robotics”. The company is still building the chipset – it’s an ongoing process, with the system only available on request to select customers. Continue reading Robotics platform: Branches of the same Redtree

Robot density: Top 10 countries with most industrial robots for every 10,000 people employed in manufacturing

According to the IFR, the 10 countries with the highest number of industrial robots for every 10,000 people employed in manufacturing are:

  1. South Korea, 347
  2. Japan, 339
  3. Germany, 261
  4. Italy, 159
  5. Sweden, 157
  6. Denmark, 145
  7. United States, 135
  8. Spain, 131
  9. Finland, 130
  10. Taiwan, 129

Source: International Federation of Robots

Offline programming software for industrial robots from RoboDK offers hundreds of virtual industrial robots from top robotics companies

  • Offline industrial robot programming software, RoboDK, now has hundreds of virtual robots from all the leading industrial robot manufacturers, including ABB, Fanuc, and Kuka
  • RoboDK’s online library has more than 200 industrial robots, tools and external axes, which can be accessed directly from within the cross-platform application
  • Albert Nubiola, founder and CEO of RoboDK, talks to RoboticsandAutomationNews.com about offline programming and how RoboDK can play an increasingly important role in a market where other solutions can prove far more expensive 

Offline programming software for industrial robots

Offline programming for industrial robots seems like such a logical method of managing industrial robots that it’s difficult to find a good enough reason to do it any other way. Offline programming for industrial robots, mostly in the form of industrial robot simulation software, is a relatively new development in industrial robotics but it has been gaining popularity over the past few years.

However, offline programming software for industrial robots is still not as widespread as perhaps one would expect it to be. The majority of robots were programmed using the teach pendant method. A teach pendant, also known as a “teach box”, is a hand-held device often attached to the robot which has numerous buttons and a screen with which to program the robot, usually on-site, requiring the robot to be isolated from the production line and not do any work.

Without offline programming software for industrial robots, downtime is inevitable. This downtime can clearly be costly, even if the robot is out of action for a few minutes, let alone a few hours or a few days. Offline programming drastically reduces and can even eliminate the need to take the robot away from the automated cell and, therefore, is far more cost-effective. That’s the theory. But in practice, the offline programming solutions released so far have been prohibitively costly for many companies.

RoboDK, a new industrial robot simulator and offline programming software for industrial robots, is aiming to change that. RoboDK is the result of many years’ development at École de technologie supérieure (ETS) university in Montreal, Canada. It is the commercial spin-off from RoKiSim, an educational simulator for industrial robotics that the university made available for free. “RoKiSim was a basic simulator but we realised that people used it a lot,” says Albert Nubiola, founder and CEO of RoboDK. “We got a lot of feedback and we used it to build the commercial version, RoboDK. Continue reading Offline programming software for industrial robots from RoboDK offers hundreds of virtual industrial robots from top robotics companies