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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Igus receives 10,000th order from robotics company

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igus director, Justin Leonard, presents Fraser Reid, managing director of Cyber-Weld, with the 10,000th readycable order
Igus director Justin Leonard presents Fraser Reid, managing director of Cyber-Weld, with the 10,000th readycable order

As Cyber-Weld reaches 10,000 orders for readycable products, igus outlines the advantages of using robotics in the welding process 

Robotic welding systems have been widely used in large scale automated manufacturing facilities, particularly in the automotive industry, for a number of years. 

Faced with cost pressures from their customers, small metalworking job shops are now starting to consider implementing automation. 

When the operating costs of robotic welding are compared to manual welding the results are now clearly in favour of the robot.  Additional benefits of automating are increased productivity, more consistent welded joints and improved quality.  Continue reading Igus receives 10,000th order from robotics company


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Logistics robots market set to grow more than 30 per cent in the next four years, says study

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The market for logistics robots is set to grow by more than 30 per cent by the end of this decade, according to a report by Big Market Research.

The analysts listed the prominent global logistics robots market players, business environment and industry scenario.

The most noteworthy factors assessed during the study includes market overview and top vendor offerings in the sector for 2016-2020.

“As the robotic sector experiences more competition than ever and new enterprises keep popping up worldwide, the report captures some key drivers, restraints as well as opportunities shaping the industry’s future,” the authors of the report.  Continue reading Logistics robots market set to grow more than 30 per cent in the next four years, says study


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Fiat Chrysler Pacifica to include Google driverless car technology in software giant’s first auto partnership

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The Fiat Chrysler Pacifica is set to become the first commercially available car to feature Google driverless car technology when it goes on sale next year

Google driverless car technology set to take to the streets next year

The Google Self-Driving Car Project and Fiat Chrysler have entered into what they are calling a “first-of-its-kind collaboration”, saying that they will integrate Google’s self-driving technology into all new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand Google’s existing self-driving test program.

This marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used later this year for Google’s self-driving testing, more than doubling Google’s current fleet of self-driving test vehicles. Engineering responsibilities will be shared based on each company’s respective expertise. Continue reading Fiat Chrysler Pacifica to include Google driverless car technology in software giant’s first auto partnership


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Worm gearboxes produce high torque at low cost

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Tony Young, director of electrical and automation maintenance company, CP Automation, explains the benefits of worm gearboxes

Worm gearboxes are low cost solutions for producing high torque from relatively small electric motors. Their output shaft is at a 90 degree angle to the motor input shaft and higher reduction ratios are obtained compared to conventional gearbox designs.

It would be hard to imagine how violin or guitar strings could be tuned without the use of worm gears, where each thumb screw is effectively a worm that turns a gear, the shaft from which in turn tightens a string.

A complete turn of the thumb screw results in a much smaller turn of only a few degrees at the string shaft, and therefore much higher torque. More importantly, it provides precise tuning of the guitar string.  Continue reading Worm gearboxes produce high torque at low cost


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Kuka reports record sales for first quarter of 2016

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kuka industrial robots

Industrial robot manufacturer Kuka says it has received a record number of orders during the first quarter of 2016. 

The company has reported its results at a time when its share price was fluctuating somewhat, and the positive financial statement could steady or increase the company’s market value.  Continue reading Kuka reports record sales for first quarter of 2016


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Computer model of how bees view the world could be a breakthrough for robotics

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Scientists at the University of Sheffield have created a computer model of how bees avoid hitting walls – which could lead to a breakthrough in the development of autonomous robots. 

Researchers from the Department of Computer Science built their computer model to look at how bees use vision to detect the movement of the world around them and avoid crashes.

Bees control their flight using the speed of motion – or optic flow – of the visual world around them, but it is not known how they do this. The only neural circuits so far found in the insect brain can tell the direction of motion, not the speed.

This study suggests how motion-direction detecting circuits could be wired together to also detect motion-speed, which is crucial for controlling bees’ flight.

“Honeybees are excellent navigators and explorers, using vision extensively in these tasks, despite having a brain of only one million neurons,” says Dr Alex Cope, lead researcher on the paper.  Continue reading Computer model of how bees view the world could be a breakthrough for robotics


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Google boss downplays devices and talks up artificial intelligence

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Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, says the days of the ‘device’ are numbered 

The chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, says he can foresee the day when the “device” as we know it will be no more.

In a blog post on Google’s website, Pichai says: “Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away.”

The reason, Pichai writes, is because artificial intelligence will make all devices work seamlessly and, therefore, make devices less important than the AI software behind them.

“Over time, the computer itself – whatever its form factor – will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day,” says Pichai. “We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.”

Full story on Google’s blog.


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Legrand showcases new integrated architectural lighting solutions

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legrand architectural lighting

Legrand has demonstrated its newest solutions from leading product lines Wattstopper, Vantage and QMotion at Lightfair International.

Legrand presented its architectural dimming and integration platform, which demonstrates how all three brands have combined their respective areas of expertise in architectural dimming, automated lighting, and shading solutions to create one ultimate system to meet customer objectives and deliver on the end-user experience.

Products in the architectural dimming platform include the Lighting Control and Automation Panel (LCAP) series and a range of unique interfaces and modules.  Continue reading Legrand showcases new integrated architectural lighting solutions


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Cisco Jasper publishes study on industrial internet of things

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Cisco Jasper has conducted a study based on usage data of more than 3,500 enterprise customers on its IoT service platform to determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of IoT both before and after implementing an IoT service platform.

The company has released the results of its TCO for Industrial IoT report, focused specifically on the data from industrial enterprises using its platform.

Cisco Jasper’s blog post on the results says: “You can’t truly calculate ROI until you understand the comprehensive cost of ownership of delivering an IIoT service.”


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