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

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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