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

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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


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Autonomous car technology could reduce insurance premiums by $20 billion

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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


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

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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


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SSI Schaefer presents a new shuttle system for bins and cartons

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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


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

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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


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RE2 delivers two-armed robot to US Army

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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


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Detroit to host experts in automotive robotics trends

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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


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Logistics companies utilising robotics and automation at ports to optimise operations

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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


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Virtual assistants prepare to take over the world of work

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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


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IdeaHub launches robotics challenge with ABB

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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


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ABB buys SVIA to strengthen robotics and automation offering

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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


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Nachi to open giant facility in Thailand

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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


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B&R claims ‘world’s first’ OPC UA device

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B&R claims to have become the first company in the world to develop a field device for Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA). 

The company says it has added the vendor-independent communication protocol to their X20 I/O system.

B&R says the new X20 I/O system bus controller makes it possible to implement OPC UA communication from the sensor layer to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) layer “without any interfaces whatsoever”. Continue reading B&R claims ‘world’s first’ OPC UA device


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42Q claims industry’s ‘first cloud-based manufacturing execution system’

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42Q is claiming that it has become the first company to provide a fully cloud-based manufacturing execution system. 

The company says its new product is an intuitive, comprehensive solution which eliminates large up-front costs and enables fast deployment.

42Q is already a provider of cloud manufacturing execution systems, and says the new all-cloud solution offers “competitive advantages in speed of deployment, operational agility and low total cost of ownership”.  Continue reading 42Q claims industry’s ‘first cloud-based manufacturing execution system’


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Smart homes: Sage by Hughes now works with Nest

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Sage has entered into a partnership with Nest on smart home technology products

Sage by Hughes security and smart home system now works with the Nest Cam security camera, the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.

By working with Nest, Sage says it can expand the lineup of options available to its users and “bring the intelligence and convenience of Nest products to the television – all from the comfort of the user’s couch”.  Continue reading Smart homes: Sage by Hughes now works with Nest


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