AMD and Associated Press launch virtual reality channel

AMD and the Associated Press have launched a new channel which puts viewers in the middle of events and environments through the wonders of virtual reality technology.

Some might say this is a worrying development, something that might encourage journalists and camera operators to put themselves in increasingly dangerous situations to give viewers exclusive and authentic coverage of events.

It might also escalate demand for ever more shocking pictures of war and other tragic events and developments around the world.  Continue reading AMD and Associated Press launch virtual reality channel

Ports and docks prepare for new phase of robotics and automation

Marlon Brando On the Waterfront
Marlon Brando as a dock worker, with hook resting on neck, in the classic film On the Waterfront

When you think of the technology at docks and ports, the first things that may spring to mind are the giant cranes that pick containers off the ships and place them somewhere on the dock.

These “gantry cranes” as they’re called stand taller than the ships at several tens of metres high and have lifting capacities of several tens of tons. But they’re all manually operated – just like the cranes you might see on construction sites.

In fact, there’s very little automation let alone machine autonomy present at the vast majority of docks and ports and ports around the world, which perhaps is not surprising given the history of docks as a massive employer of manpower. The work was always done by humans and was essentially simple – lift and move boxes. Continue reading Ports and docks prepare for new phase of robotics and automation

Autonomous car expert says his enthusiasm for the technology was seen as ‘misguided’

Prof Nick Reed, TRL Academy Director
Prof Nick Reed, TRL Academy Director

One of the UK’s leading experts in the field of autonomous cars says his enthusiasm for the technology was seen as premature and misguided by some people.

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Professor Nick Reed, academy director at Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), says he has long believed automation was the way to go.

“Technology moves on at a rapid pace and there were certainly some commentators in the early days who felt that my enthusiasm for vehicle automation as an important topic of research was perhaps a little premature, or even misguided,” says Prof Reed. Continue reading Autonomous car expert says his enthusiasm for the technology was seen as ‘misguided’

North American robotics market sets new records in 2015

Robots at Tesla auto factory
Robots at Tesla auto factory
Robot orders and shipments in North America set new records in 2015, according to Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.

A total of 31,464 robots valued at $1.8 billion were ordered from North American companies during 2015, an increase of 14% in units and 11% in dollars over 2014.

Robot shipments also set new records, with 28,049 robots valued at $1.6 billion shipped to North American customers in 2015. Shipments grew 10% in units and nine percent in dollars over the previous records set in 2014. Continue reading North American robotics market sets new records in 2015

Rethink Robotics signs ‘major distribution partnerships’ in Germany

Rethink Robotics’ Baxter and Sawyer collaborative robots
Rethink Robotics’ Baxter and Sawyer collaborative robots

Rethink Robotics today announced exclusive distribution partnerships with leading automation providers in Germany to continue the global expansion of the company.

Freise Automation and Hahn Robotics will deliver Sawyer to the German manufacturing community, helping companies improve production processes and implement flexible and affordable automation.

Rethink Robotics is redefining manufacturing across the globe with its family of smart, collaborative robots that can adapt to real-world variability, change applications quickly and perform tasks like people do.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics signs ‘major distribution partnerships’ in Germany

Conference calls for experts in robotics and automation

Organisers of one of Europe’s most important conferences on robotics and automation are calling for papers and articles from experts in the field in the run-up to its conference in the middle of next year.

The 13th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics – organized by Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC) – will take place from 29 to 31 of July 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Also known as the ICINCO conference, this is the 13th time it has been held, and is organised by the INSTICC. Continue reading Conference calls for experts in robotics and automation

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